The increasing production capacity of the Petrochemical Complex of Camaçari, in the State of Bahia, Brazil, after eleven years of operation leads to an additional generation of liquid effluents that will sum up a total load of 120 tons BOD/day. The need of an environmentally safe solution involved several studies and research projects on the treatment process and environmental assessment. At first, it was suggested adopting a tertiary treatment process for the liquid effluents with the respective enlargement of the treatment plant, thus maintaining the present receiving water body. A second alternative, which contemplated the improvement of the secondary treatment with the subsequent disposal of the treated effluents off the coast through a submarine outfall was considered to be more feasible, and is discussed in detail, together with the arguments that led to this conclusion.

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