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Expansion of Balqa wastewater treatment plant to begin later this year

By Hana Namrouqa - Apr 02,2018 - Last updated at Apr 02,2018

AMMAN — Expansion on the main wastewater treatment plant that serves Balqa Governorate's half-a-million residents will commence later this year, according to government officials.

The expansion on the project mainly seeks to tackle the health and environment challenges created by the Wadi Shuaib wastewater treatment plant due to the increasing pressure on the facility, according to officials.

The ministry announced its plan to renovate the over-pressured facility after Minister of Water and Irrigation Ali Ghazawi visited the plant on Sunday and said that the ministry has installed new filters and a ventilation system worth JD230,000 at the plant.

"The installation of the filters and the state-of-the-art ventilation system seeks to improve the public health and environmental conditions for local residents and raise the quality of discharged wastewater from the plant," Ghazawi said in a ministry statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times.

Ministry Spokesperson Omar Salameh said that the recent installation is only a short-term solution to the challenges faced by the local community living close to the plant.

"The long-term solution to the issues stemming from the over-pressured plant, which are represented by the emission of foul odours, is the expansion of the plant," Salameh said.

The German Development Bank  is funding the expansion of the plant through a 25-million-euro grant, he added.

"Expansion on the plant will commence later this year. The ministry has already floated the expansion project's tender," Salameh highlighted, adding that the plant's current modest capacity of 3,000 cubic metres will be stretched to 25,000 cubic metres per day.

"The expansion is scheduled to end within 24 months after its start," Salameh highlighted.

Expansion of the plant is one of the 21 projects listed under the ministry's wastewater strategy, which seeks to raise households’ connectivity to the wastewater network from a current 80 per cent to 90 per cent, by the year 2025.

It entails the construction of new wastewater treatment plants, the expansion and refurbishment of existing plants and the installation of new sewage networks. With the implementation of the projects, the Kingdom will increase the amount of treated wastewater from the current 115 million cubic metres per year, to 250 million cubic metres, by the year 2025, according to the ministry.

The treated wastewater will increasingly substitute the use of freshwater for industrial purposes, as well as the irrigation of certain cultivations in the Jordan Valley and south of Amman. 

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