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No Covid virus in treated sewage water, confirms UAE team

ABU DHABI, June 5, 2020

No Covid-19 virus has been detected in the ‘treated’ sewage water, confirmed a team of researchers from UAE-based Khalifa University of Science and Technology, and added that it was suitable for agriculture and distribution in municipalities.

Khalifa University, which conducted the research in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) and other partners, have successfully identified that the sewage water, ‘treated’ during the surveillance of SARS-COV-2 viral load, is devoid of the Covid-19 virus, confirming the safety of the efficiently-treated wastewater.

The researchers in the team include Dr. Habiba Alsafar, Director of Khalifa University Center for Biotechnology, Dr. Ahmed Yousef, Assistant Professor, Chemistry, and Dr. Shadi Hasan, Associate Professor, Chemical Engineering. Dr. Alpharo Lopez, expert in epidemiology and toxicology was also part of the team.

Since the wastewater treatment processes have sufficiently deactivated or removed the virus, the treated water is as suitable for agriculture and municipal distribution as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Engineer Mohammed bin Jarash Al Falasi, Under-Secretary, Department of Energy - Abu Dhabi, stressed that the department works in accordance with a clear vision within the framework of the energy sector leadership in the emirate, by providing ways and means to enhance the capabilities and implementing all policies, laws and regulations in order to improve the sector’s performance.
Security, health and safety measures are essential pillars of the water sector’s functioning to maximize utilization of recycled water and support our plans to enhance water security for Abu Dhabi, he stated.

Al Falasi explained that the wastewater treatment in Abu Dhabi was based on the triple treatment system which is the best in the world in terms of quality, efficiency and fulfillment of requirements, stressing that after completing the treatment process, samples of recycled water are taken for regular analysis. Sample results are later reviewed and monitored to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and safety of recycled water.

According to him, the recent achievement was the outcome of cooperation between the DoE and its partners, and Khalifa University through the use of its research and scientific facilities to verify that the treated wastewater is free from Covid-19 virus and fully suitable for irrigation purposes in the emirate.

This cooperation also represents a concrete step within our relentless efforts with partners in the sector to ensure that the recycled water is free from any disease. The Department of Energy places top priority to preservation of public health, and those efforts have multiplied since the beginning of the pandemic, he added.

Khalifa University Executive VP Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi said the university continues to focus on projects related to the Covid-19 pandemic and the collaboration with governmental entities through offering many projects to support the country’s efforts in ensuring the good health of the public.

"We are delighted to offer our expertise in this area to support the country’s efforts towards reusing water and management of scarce natural resources. We will continue to offer our infrastructure to support stakeholders in the government sector, for tackling challenges posed by the pandemic," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




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