Helbarron, France


"Helbarron's plant supplies Saint Jean de Luz and Ciboure, which have a population of 20,000 in winter and almost 80,000 in summer. In particular, refurbishment of this plant enabled us to increase its capacity from 16,000 to 18,000 m3 per day. After renovation of the existing traditional process (a settling tank and sand filters), we then added fifty-four ultrafiltration membrane modules. The objective was to improve the quality for all the parameters, including physical- chemical, organoleptic and bacteriological parameters. This improvement in the quality was also essential because we only have one resource at our disposal: the Nivelle. This river is flanked by agricultural land, and ultrafiltration guarantees us the elimination of all traces of pesticides. On top of which, the membranes enable us to anticipate new French and European regulations. To sum up, what is involved is an environmentally- friendly treatment which enables water to be produced that has an optimal taste and is of good
healthy quality."
Philippe JUZAN, Chairman of the Water and Sanitation Commission, Interborough Association for Equipment and Infrastructure


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In order to produce water which anticipates the requirements of French regulations, Degrémont refurbished and ensured the reliability of the existing equipment and then established a complementary treatment stage using Cristal® process, which combines filtration membranes and powdered activated carbon. For the existing site (first built in 1956), particular care was devoted to the architectural and landscaping integration of this new installation into the environment of the Nivelle, particularly by choosing naturalmaterials that match the surrounding natural environment. The new plant was designed to limit noise pollution to the maximum extent. As for the sludge produced, it is dewatered and then sent for disposal.



The Cristal® process combines the action of ultrafiltration membranes with that of activated carbon. Ultrafiltration, a technology experiencing rapid growth in terms of water treatment, consists of using a membrane to physically stop all elements with a size that exceeds the limit value, called the “cut-off threshold”. The Helbarron plant is equipped with three Ultrazur® blocks featuring 18 ultrafiltration membrane modules with a cut-off threshold of 0.01 µm, and produces drinking water of excellent quality both in relation to traditional physical-chemical parameters (turbidity, organic materials, etc.) and organoleptic parameters (taste, odour, clearness) as well as in terms of the removal of germs (bacteria, viruses).






more information


Degremont SAS

26bis avenue Léonard de Vinci

33600 PESSAC


Tel : +33 5 57 22 23 00