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Nasser calls for more attention to sludge management

By Hana Namrouqa - Feb 17,2014 - Last updated at Feb 17,2014

AMMAN — Officials and experts in water and wastewater reuse discussed on Monday options and alternatives for the use and disposal of sludge at the Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Water Minister Hazem Nasser said sludge management has been absent from the government’s agenda for many years, highlighting that biosolids generated from the plant can be used in energy production or for increasing agricultural productivity.

“It is vital to transform residues of the wastewater treatment process into a soil conditioner for agricultural purposes or into biofuel for use in different industries, such as cement manufacturing,” Nasser said at a workshop on Samra plant’s biosolids use and disposal options.

As the plant treats 75 per cent of wastewater generated in the Kingdom and produces 70 per cent of the country’s sludge, Nasser underscored the importance of suggesting alternatives for the safe disposal of sludge in environment-friendly methods.

“Treated wastewater is increasingly becoming a source of water that can be used for certain cultivations, such as fodder, thus saving much needed fresh water for drinking purposes,” Nasser said.

The workshop was organised by the
USAID-funded Water Reuse and Environmental Conservation Project, which is preparing the study on the options and alternatives for the use and disposal of sludge at the Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant.

During the event, Melissa Knight, USAID water resources and environment office director, highlighted the need to ensure a clean and sustainable supply of water to Jordan, noting that treated wastewater generated from the plant constitutes 10 per cent of Jordan’s total water resources.

The plant is currently under expansion, with 70 per cent of the work completed. Once rehabilitated by July 2015, the facility will become one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the Middle East and North Africa.

The plant currently treats 60 million cubic metres (mcm) of wastewater, according to officials, who said that after the expansion of the facility, its capacity will more than double to 133mcm.

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