Fighting against an ecological disaster in a world-record time,

Fighting against an ecological disaster in a world-record time

Rapid action was critical when a sewage collector broke in Warsaw, Poland, causing a massive waste spill into the Vistula River. Uponor Infra’s crew worked 24 hours a day in order to stop the pollution of the river. A temporary pipeline was produced, delivered and connected in just eight days.

At the end of August 2019 in Warsaw, a major failure occurred in the system transferring sewage to Czajka, one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in Poland. Both lines of the GRP wastewater collector, located under the bed of the Vistula River, were damaged. As a result,
around 3,000 litres of sewage spilled into the river every second. 
The situation in the capital city was being followed everywhere in Poland, since the sewage discharge also affected all the cities located on the Vistula River north of the city. The Vistula River crosses Poland and eventually reaches the Baltic Sea in the north, which also caused concern in other countries around the Baltic Sea.



Warsaw, Poland
Building Type
Product system
Sewer Municipal
Project Type
New building

Fighting against an ecological disaster in a world-record time

This catastrophe shows that a failure of sewage transmission systems can have serious consequences for people and nature. A bypass, built in express mode and routed through the river with a pontoon bridge, stopped the discharge of over 20 million tons of waste into the Vistula.

An emergency pipeline ready in eight days
Due to the malfunction, it was decided to perform a controlled discharge of the waste into the Vistula River, as well as build temporary pipelines. The temporary installation was operated and supervised by the Polish Army and the State Water Management Company, Wody Polskie. 

Rapid action was critical. As a rule, such projects are carried out over a period of months, but Uponor Infra was able to produce, deliver and connect the pipes required for temporary pipelines in eight days. According to Wojciech Skowyrski, Chief Engineer of Construction at the State Water Management Company, this was a world record. Uponor Infra supplied two 1,100m sections of 1,000mm PE pipes to the construction site. An approximately 250-metre section of the total length of 2,200 metres was laid on a pontoon bridge, which the Polish Army had built on the river.

Once the pipes had been delivered to the construction site, Uponor Infra joined them using butt welding, which ensured the strength of the structure along its entire length and, most importantly, of the joints. The welding of 146 joints took six and a half days.

Working hard 24 hours a day
The pace of the work was staggering. Uponor Infra’s crew worked 24 hours a day in order to stop the pollution of the river. Six operational teams were sent to the construction site. A total of around 50 employees were involved in the project, including personnel from the technical, production, prefabrication, logistics, sales and marketing departments. In spite of the fast pace, all work was carried out under proper supervision and in accordance with health and safety rules. After 12 days of controlled discharge into the Vistula River, sewage from seven districts of left-bank Warsaw flowed to the Czajka plant again.

Reliable PE pipes
Once again, it was proven that PE pipes are a perfect solution for even the most difficult operating conditions thanks to their high quality, strength parameters, flexibility and fast installation. Resistant to abrasion, corrosion and exposure to chemicals, they provide a durable and reliable solution for applications such as process pipelines at chemical plants or cooling-water pipelines at power plants.

Fighting against an ecological disaster in a world-record time

02 czajka warszawa uponor infra
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