KSA to have 204 sewage treatment plants by 2019

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Saudi Gazette report

DAMMAM –The volume of treated sewage in the Kingdom rose from 66 percent in 2011 to 77 percent in 2014 and the figure is expected to reach 80 percent by 2019, an official report said.

It expected that total sewage production in the country would cross 825 million cubic meters shortly.

There has been substantial improvement in the quality of treated water with dissolved oxygen content reaching 40 mg per liter in 2014 for dual treatment systems and 10 mg/liter for tertiary treatment, the report said, adding that its percentage dropped in 2014.

Meanwhile, efforts are under way to establish several new sewage treatment plants to take their total number to 204 by 2019. They will treat 2.9 billion cubic meters of sewage from the household sector.

Although the sewage is treated in Saudi Arabia following international standards, only a small portion, or 9 percent, of the treated water is used for irrigation, the report pointed out. Farmers face various difficulties to use treated sewage water for irrigation purpose.

A total of 2.9 billion cubic meters of sewage is produced in households, which use approximately 3.6 billion cubic meters of drinking water, which is 80 percent of total household consumption of water, the report said.

The sewage produced in main Saudi cities exceeds the capacity of treatment plants with its volume increasing from 180 million cubic meters in 2000 to 250 million cubic meters in 2014. It is expected to reach 825 million cubic meters, including 400 million cubic meters in Riyadh, 365 million cubic meters in Jeddah and the rest in Makkah, Madinah and Dammam.

The sources of most solids found in seawater are domestic waste from households not connected to the sewerage network, treated sewage water, untreated and partially treated industrial wastewater and water aquaculture projects.

Makkah, Riyadh, Eastern Province, Asir and Jazan region account for most of these, the report said, adding that loads of waste from Asir and Jazan regions also increased considerably due to incomplete drainage networks.

Per capita water consumption in the Kingdom is estimated at 210 liters daily but it differs from one region to another with Riyadh having 207 liters, Jeddah 196, Makkah 117 and Madinah 135 with the expansion of water networks and the rise in population.

“We have also noticed an increase in the use of bottled water, both locally-manufactured and imported,” the report pointed out. The number of bottled water factories in the Kingdom rose to 201 in 2016 and they produced 68 million cubic meters of water.

The report attributed the increase in the quantity of bottled water to the declining quality of pipe water supplied from desalinated water plants.

Water supplied from desalination plants becomes contaminated due to various reasons including damage to the pipeline and mixing of underground water.

The total demand for household water rose from 2.4 billion cubic meters of water in 2011 to 2.6 billion last year with an annual growth in demand of 5 to 7 percent, the report said.


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