On the 7th July, 2020, fifth in a row Peer Exchange was successfully accomplished this time on the topic of preparation and implementation of successful infrastructure projects for wastewater collection and treatment. Peer Exchange was organized by the Association "Water Utilities Republic of Srpska" and supported by the Association “Aquasan network in BiH ".
The exchange was carried out within the Project "Regional Capacity Development Network for Water and Sanitation Services (RCDN)".
The Peer exchange aimed to enable public utility companies (PUCs) and local government units (LGUs) in Republic of Srpska (RS) to share experiences, improve work and increase capacities on the topic of preparation and implementation of successful infrastructure projects for wastewater collection and treatment, through a formal exchange of knowledge and experience, a capacity development model developed through the RCDN project by the Aquasan network in BiH.
The participants in the event were mostly directors and their associates from Public utility companies (PUCs) from Banja Luka, Gradiška, Trebinje, Prnjavor, Mrkonjić Grad, Zvornik, Bratunac, Laktaši and the hosts Bijeljina, as well as the Association "Water Utilities Republic of Srpska" and representatives of the “Association of local authorities of Republic Srpska”.
The moderators of the event were representatives of the Aquasan network in BiH. On behalf of the hosts, the participants were initially addressed by the President of the Association "Water Utilities Republic of Srpska", Mr. Zoran Popović and the director of Public utility company A.D. “Vodovod i kanalizacija” Bijeljina Mr. Predrag Perković. They emphasized the importance of this topic from the aspect of the status of wastewater treatment in RS and investments that are in preparation or in progress and from the aspect of sustainability of these investments in the future, about which Bijeljina already has significant experience.
In the introductory session, Ms. Ivana Stanišić, Executive Director of the Technical Sector Public utility company A.D. “Vodovod i kanalizacija” Bijeljina presented a very significant research conducted within the activities of the Association "Water Utilities Republic of Srpska" in the RCDN project on the status of collection and wastewater treatment, but also the need for training in this sector. A key part of the exchange was the presentation of good practice in which video materials were used based on the case of collection and treatment projects in Bijeljina. Through the discussion of the participants, key aspects and recommendations for the preparation and implementation phase were identified, which can later significantly affect the operation and maintenance, but also the sustainability of the investment as a whole. In addition to Bijeljina, Spasoje Radovic the director of Public utility company "Vodovod" Trebinje, shared his experiences in the preparation and implementation of the reconstruction of the WWTP. The most important aspects discussed were: estimation of service price increase after construction for loan repayment projections, number and dynamics of connections from the aspect of repayment projection, quality of project and tender documentation, frequent errors and oversizing of the system, neglect or minimization of street reconstruction costs and replacement of water pipes during construction, recommendations on the length of trial operation of WWTP, selection of quality supervision and FIDIC engineers and contractors, and adequate implementation of supervision over their work in terms of defining and implementing contracts, sludge, role and composition of project implementation team, etc.