SALALAH, Dec 26 – With growing population and expansion of Salalah, the pressure on wastewater management is also growing. Caution is needed while disposing of wastewater from household and industrial set ups.
Dr Akram Ali, water scientist and drilling expert, called for conversion of waste product into a valued resource by managing wastewater and making them reusable for irrigation and other non-consumable purposes.
He appreciated efforts of the civic bodies to meet the water supply demand today and tomorrow and called it something that can serve as a model for the Middle Eastern and Gulf countries, which are facing similar water resources problems.
The undergoing Dhofar Municipality programme, according to him, would enhance quality and quantity issues being posed by growing population pressures on limited resources.
The programme, which includes a chlorine safety equipment has an emergency scrubber that automatically neutralises the exhaust in the event of a chemical leak.
“The tertiary filtration is required to meet 10mg/litre discharge standard for suspended solids and chlorine gas is used for disinfection.
Chlorine is selected due to the required scale of operation and the local availability of a reliable chlorine chemical supply.
In addition to application, chlorine works as a disinfectant and used as a scrubbing chemical for odour control and, if necessary, for pre-chlorination,” he said.
He cited some background information to make his point for wastewater management.
Salalah, according to him, “is located on a high quality fresh water aquifer that is replenished during the annual monsoon season.
The resident of Salalah have traditionally used this aquifer as the sole source of water for all agricultural, potable and nonpotable needs.
Historically, the population of Salalah has been fairly small, and demands for the aquifer were in tune with its recharge capacity.
However, increase in national wealth over the last 45 years has resulted in dramatic improvements in public health and quality of life, resulting in a significant increase in population.
Oman has now the highest population growth rate and with current projections the Salalah population will exceed 200,000 by the year 2020.
The rapid rise in population has severely affected water resources in the Salalah area.
In 1980s, there had been significant decrease in water level and evidence of saltwater intrusion due to over abstraction of groundwater became apparent in coastal areas.
Additionally, water quality problems developed as failing or inadequate on — site septic systems and waste water holding tanks resulted in groundwater contamination.
By the end of year 1980s, it had become clear that the Salalah aquifer could not support the anticipated growth rates unless a progressive water management and reuse practices were implemented.