Pierre-Bénite (Rhône)

Pierre-Bénite: a resourceful wastewater treatment plant

Recognized as the largest urban sanitation unit in southern France, the Pierre-Bénite plant (Rhône) also stands as one of Stereau’s major wastewater references in France. After five years of reconstruction and modernization, the facility perfectly addresses the economic and environmental challenges of Greater Lyon.

Lyon Pierre-Bénite wastewater treatment plant (Rhône)

The challenges

  • To provide Greater Lyon with a facility that complies with the new European standards for the quality of treated wastewater discharge, capable of meeting future development needs
  • To improve the treatment of urban discharges to enhance the water quality of the Rhône River and preserve the Mediterranean.
  • To eliminate the olfactory nuisances of the site
  • To reduce the volume of waste generated by wastewater treatment through an on-site sludge incineration unit
  • To carry out a large-scale construction project on a challenging site: spanning over 17 hectares, the site is separated by the Lyon – Saint-Etienne railway line

Our solutions

Thanks to the implementation of modern technologies, the Pierre-Bénite wastewater treatment plant benefits from a well-controlled treatment process, combining performance, safety, and reliability to provide perfect environmental protection. The implementation of a free-culture biological treatment allows for the removal of carbonaceous and nitrogenous pollutants from the wastewater without the addition of chemical reagents, which reduces both risks and operating costs

The sludge treatment process handles the residues from the biological treatment and primary treatment. Each stage is equipped with multiple lines to ensure optimal operation of the plant, even during shutdowns for maintenance. The entire sludge treatment chain reduces the volume of products to be disposed of by a factor of 400 compared to the volume extracted from upstream treatments.


  • A high purification reliability for controlled discharge quality into the natural environment and a preserved Rhône
  • A true complex for wastewater treatment, purification by-products, and external materials, the station meets all current environmental standards
  • A preserved quality of life for the residents of Pierre-Bénite and neighboring communities, through the elimination of olfactory nuisances
  • A successful landscape integration through the reconstitution of the typical natural environment of the banks of the Rhône River on the site

The reception of external materials is another feature of the facility that treats and valorizes septic tank sludge, products from the cleaning of stormwater networks and street sweepers, liquid sludge, as well as fats and dewatered sludge.

In order to control odour nuisances, all structures and equipment on the site that can generate odours are covered. These measures are now an integral part of modern wastewater treatment plants, which are required to protect the environment in a comprehensive manner.

Lyon Pierre-Bénite wastewater treatment plant (Rhône)
population equivalents in dry weather
m3 of septage treated each year
tonnes per year of sewage sludge and pretreatment sand treated and recycled

Other achievements

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