Sadr City R3 Water Treatment Plant, Iraq


Sadr City R3 is Iraq's first fully automatic water treatment plant. The $27m plant, located in Adhamiyah, Sadr City, provides clean drinking water to 68 of the 79 city sectors. Construction of the plant, built to US standards of quality, began in 2005. The plant became operational in 2008.

Sadr City, initially known as Saddam City, is located near Baghdad. The city was re-named after the religious leader Imam Mohammed Sadr, who was killed by Saddam Hussein.

Originally, the plant was to be built under a contract with US Agency for International Development (USAID). The project was eventually contracted to Bechtel National. Parsons Global Services was the sub contractor.

Bechtel and Parsons left the project in July 2007 after completing 85% of the work. The project was then transferred to US Army Corps of Engineers, which contracted the remainder of the design and construction works to Washington International and Black & Veatch.

Sadr City R3 background

"The $27m Sadr City plant provides clean drinking water to 68 of the 79 city sectors."

Before the commencement of the Sadr City water treatment plant, the city's potable water was provided by the Shark Dijla water treatment plant and the Ofalaa plant.

These two treatment plants provided 46 litres per capita per day of drinking water to the city's residents. However, this was not enough for the city. The Shark Dijla plant's production capacity was raised to 750 million litres per day from 500 million litres per day in 2005.

Increased plant capacity was of no use for Sadr City as the expansion was meant for the western half of the municipality and not the eastern half where Sadr City is located.

In 2003, Baghdad Water Authority (BWA) initiated a drinking water master plan, which included upgrading the existing water treatment plants and constructing a new treatment plant, R3 WTP, for Sadr City.

Plant design

The R3 WTP project included a drinkable water treatment system, a treated water storage installation, a pumping station, an administrative building and an emergency power system. There is also an on-site laboratory for monitoring the quality of raw water, finished water and treated water.

R3 WTP was designed with the objective of supplying potable water at the rate of four million litres per hour, and to meet future demand by expanding it to produce six million litres per hour of water.

"Shark Dijla's production capacity was raised to 750 million litres per day."

The treatment plant receives raw water from existing raw water supply source Tigris River. The treated potable water is then supplied to people using existing distribution system.

The plant is furnished to produce and provide an uninterrupted water supply in a secure and reliable way. Continuous water production helps to store water during low water demand, which in turn is used to circulate water during high demand.

Water treatment

Tigris River is Sadr City R3's raw water source. Raw water is supplied to the treatment plant using the existing raw water distribution facility. Raw water metering control stations pump raw water to the rapid mix tanks at the plant. Water is chlorinated in the rapid mix tanks. Alum and polymers are then mixed for flocculation and coagulation of solids, and are also added to trap-suspended solids.

Mixed water flows through sedimentation basins. The effluent channel is then used to exit the water from the sedimentation basins. Suspended solids are pumped out to a drainage canal as sludge.

"Tigris River is Sadr City R3 WTP's raw water source."

Sedimentation basin water is again chlorinated before being moved to filters, which are made up of granular media material. These filter the water by removing additional solids. Before storing the filtered water in the treated water storage tank, which has a capacity of 3,000m3, it is again chlorinated. Treated water is then distributed to the end users through the existing water distribution system.