Transforming drinking and waste water management in Sofia

The leading water management technologies, from a partner you can trust

Transforming drinking and waste water management in Sofia

The leading water management technologies, from a partner you can trust

Client: Sofia city Municipality, 1.4 Million citizens

Type of contract: 25-year concession; 77.1% share for Veolia; 22.9 % share for the Municipality

Type of service: Operation & management of the full cycle of water supply, sewerage and waste water treatment services

Start Year: 1999 (2010 Veolia took over the contract)

Assets: 3 main water sources, 4 DWTPs, 2 WWTPs, 3700 km drinking water network, 1700 km sewerage network


The challenge

In 2010 Veolia took over the majority share of Sofiyska voda and had to cope with several challenges including water loss, aging infrastructure and insufficient customer satisfaction. 

The solution

Being the only water public-private partnership in Bulgaria, the attention of many private and public stakeholders is focused on Sofiyska voda. Upon its entrance into the contract, Veolia undertook immediate actions into two directions: improvement of the technological performance of the company and strengthening the relationship and communication with its main stakeholders – its customers, subcontractors, Sofia municipality, and the Regulator. 

In 2018 the concession contract was renegotiated and guaranteed to the Municipality continuity of the steady investment flow until the end of the contract (approximately 20 million euro per year), ownership of all digital solutions and databases, additional investments in projects decided by the Municipality, refinancing and full repayment of the company’s debt by 2021.

Veolia implemented Hubgrade smart monitoring control center and decreased the time for reaction to network failures, improved water quality control and facilitated answers to customer requests. Digital modeling and precise measurements of water quantities lead to proactive work on the networks and smarter investments in network rehabilitation. All of these measures resulted into reduction in nonrevenue water from 60.4% in 2010 to 45% in 2019.

The Laboratory Testing Center of Sofiyska voda is accredited and provides monitoring of raw, treated water and wastewater. Its reliable personnel and state-of-art equipment make it the best water laboratory in Bulgaria and well-known among Veolia subsidiaries.

The two main drinking water treatment plants were renewed. The waste water treatment plant in Kubratovo was constantly modernized and improved its energy efficiency. Together with increased energy production from cogeneration it has become independent with energy balance above 100% since 2015. Currently, a new digester is constructed, which, together with other projects for energy efficiency, is expected to provide for energy neutral water and waste water system of Sofia city.

In the beginning of 2018 Sofiyska voda changed its customer service approach by providing modern service centers and a mobile customer service center, improved call center response and digital services. Smart metering systems were offered for individual meters and are in progress for revenue meters. In 2019 the Client chart was released which reduced response to customer questions and guaranteed their rights.

Value delivered

Currently, the company takes the leading position in Bulgaria as far as key quality performance indicators are concerned. It is also demonstrating full compliance and transparency in regards to the requirements for the reliability of the information it submits to the institutions, the media and the public as per independent evaluation performed by the Regulator. 

Sofiyska voda ranks second biggest investor in the Bulgarian water sector after the State since 2017. Since Veolia undertook the contract in 2010, the total investments made by Sofiyska voda up to 2019 amounts to cca. 225 М. Euro. 
In addition, 580 km of drinking water network was rehabilitated and constructed. Total water losses were reduced from 122 million m3 in 2010 to 59 million m3 in 2019.

Customer satisfaction reached 87% in 2019 with more and more customers using digital communication channels.

Veolia’s contract creates value for money for all the participants into this project which is proved by independent assessment of different State institutions.

Customer satisfaction reached 87% in 2019 with more and more customers using digital communication channels