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Tubli Bay ... polluted.

Bahrain’s Tubli sewage plant upgrade is urged

MANAMA, May 28, 2015

Experts have warned that Bahrain's main wastewater treatment plant is overloaded and in need of an urgent upgrade.

The Tubli Waste Pollution Control Centre (WPCC) treats around 150 million litres of sewage on a daily basis, but only one-third of that is suitable to be re-used for irrigation, according to a company involved in the facility since 2011, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

Bluewater Bio Middle East director Xan Morgan revealed 100 million litres of the daily treated sewage was unsuitable for use and was simply being pumped into the bay.

He said this in turn increased Bahrain's reliance on expensive and power-intensive desalination plants, due to a lack of usable treated water from the Tubli plant.

"The existing plant is overloaded and the quality of the treated water is poor," explained Morgan.

"The quality of the treated water from the plant is not suitable to be used to its full capacity, which is 150 million litres a day.

"Currently only a third of it is used, which is 50 million litres per day. This means around 100 million litres of treated water, which is of poor quality, is being dumped into the bay.

"So in place of this 100 million litres of treated water, which is dumped into the bay, drinking water - which is desalinated and requires huge amounts of energy and high costs to produce - is used instead.

"Until the (Tubli) plant is upgraded, the full capacity of treated water cannot be used."

He estimated that substituting treated wastewater with desalinated water for use in irrigation was costing close to BD50,000 ($131,700) per day.

Morgan was speaking to the GDN on the sidelines of the Bahrain Europe Environment Week (BEEW), which began on Monday and concludes today.

Bluewater Bio currently operates two of 10 aeration lines at the Tubli plant, after signing a contract in 2011 with the-then Works Ministry as part of a first-phase upgrade of the facility.

However, Morgan warned that delays in further upgrading the facility with the company's technology could add to pollution in Tubli Bay.

"Regardless of other plans to upgrade the plant, such as putting up new plants at the site, the old plant still needs to be upgraded," he said. "If it doesn't, it will fail the quality standards and continue polluting Tubli Bay."

In a presentation to coincide with BEEW activities, Bluewater Bio engineering director Dr Jeremy Biddle proposed rolling out the company's HYBrid ACtivated Sludge (Hybacs) system, which he said would improve performance of the plant and reduce pollution.

"The Hybacs Phase Two will stop the pollution of Tubli Bay and contribute to its clean up and rehabilitation as well as environmental and commercial development," claimed Dr Biddle.

"It will help in refurbishing and enhancing the existing plant, meet environmental regulations and quality and treatment standards and reduce odour."

He claimed a phase two upgrade of the plant using the technology would double the amount of treated sewage that could be re-used and extend the life of the current plant.

The first phase of the Hybacs project has already received accolades including Water Technology Company of the Year at the Global Water Awards, 2012, Wastewater Project of the Year at the Global Water Awards, 2014, and Best Process Technology (Water and Energy Exchange) at the Global Innovation Awards, 2014.

Acknowledging that the Tubli sewage treatment plant was overloaded, Works Ministry media and public relations director Fahad Buallay said it had already initiated procedures to upgrade the plant.

"The project is in its design stage and recently the ministry has appointed a consultant to supervise it," said Buallay.

"The upgrade of the plant is the complete solution to the existing situation and Bluewater Bio is only a part of the solution.

"Bluewater Bio is taking care of one-third of the sanitary water coming in.

"They are aspiring to tackle the rest of the water, but the Bluewater Bio project itself is not a complete solution for the plant's problem. The only complete solution is to expand the plant." - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Sewage | Wastewater | Treatment | Tubli | plant | upgrade |

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