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Paper 5 the marketability of wastewater reuse in alexandria

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One of the main challenges that faces Alexandria city is the shortage of water resources …

One of the main challenges that faces Alexandria city is the shortage of water resources
especially in the west zone of the city. So the treated wastewater is one of the solution to
solve this problem as well as the financial resources problem to make the balance between the
costs of operation and maintenance and the revenues. Therefore it was necessary to use
marketing techniques to overcome the problems of safe wastewater reuse and over come the
challenges that faces the application of this projects that are :
The places where the water exists is so far from the place that will be used in. That is because
of most of the wastewater treatment plants concentrated in the east part of the city and most of
the places that the treated wastewater will be used in the far west of the city . also taking in
consideration that the slope of the surface is low in the east and high in the west and that
makes difficulty in reaching the water to the west .
Marketing problems, such as 1) The bad reputation of the wastewater and how you can
convent the client to use it, 2) The public awareness to the citizens of Alexandria city that
they can use this water safely in the fields which mentioned in the Egyptian code,
3)Psychological factors that make the people don’t be convinced to use this water and in the
same time they know that this water is safe to use but they prefer to don’t use it, 4) There are
no motives to make people use this water, and the most important motive for the client to
make him use this water is the price and we are trying to make a challenging price which to
motive him to use this water.
Alexandria Sanitary Drainage Company now made the first step in this project which is
selling the treated wastewater that is the out put of kilo 26 secondary treatment plant to Alex
West Compound and the green landscapes.
About the solution of these problems, We found that for the east zone of Alexandria we must
raise the quality of the treated wastewater and use it in places that have scarcity of water like
Abis villages with the co-ordination with ministry of irrigation. While for the west zone of
Alexandria we think it is feasible to use this wastewater that is the output of the treatment
plant in the west zone in irrigation of the touristic villages of the north coast with coordination
with ministry of irriga

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  • 1. THE MARKETABILITY OF WASTEWATER REUSE IN ALEXANDRIA SANITARY DRAINAGE COMPANY * Dr. Helaley A.H. Helaley1, Dr. Samaa M.Z. Abdel Aziz2, Acc. Islam F.T. Okka3. 1 Chief of Industrial Drainage, Sludge and Reuse Device; 2 3 Manager of Industrial Wastewater Research Dept., Manager of Development and Technical office Depts.; Alexandria Sanitary Drainage Company, Alexandria, Egypt Key words Marketability – wastewater reuse - marketing problems - psychological factors - scarcity of water resources - scarcity of financial resources. ABSTRACT: One of the main challenges that faces Alexandria city is the shortage of water resources especially in the west zone of the city. So the use of treated wastewater is one of the solutions to solve this problem as well as the financial resources problem to make the balance between the costs of operation and maintenance and the revenues. Therefore it was necessary to use innovative marketing techniques to overcome the problems of safe wastewater reuse and over come the challenges that face the application of this concept. One of the problems is that the location of the wastewater treatment plants exists so far from the areas that will be used in. That is because of most of the wastewater treatment plants are concentrated in the east part of the city and most of the areas that the treated wastewater will be reused in the far west of the city. Taking into consideration that the slope of the surface is low in the east and high in the west and that makes difficulty in reaching the water to the west. Another problem is marketing, such as 1) The bad reputation of the wastewater and how you can convent the client to use it, 2) The public awareness to the citizens of Alexandria city that they can use this water safely in the fields which mentioned in the Egyptian code, 3) Psychological factors that make the people don’t be convinced to use this water and in the same time they know that this water is safe to use but they prefer to don’t use it, 4) There are no motives to make people use this water, and the most important motive for the client to make him use this water is the price and we are trying to make a challenging price which to motive him to use this water. To solve these problems, we found that for the east zone of Alexandria we must raise the quality of the treated wastewater and use it in places that have scarcity of water like Abis villages with the co-ordination with the Ministry of Irrigation. While for the west zone of Alexandria we think it is feasible to use this wastewater that is the output of the treatment plants in the west zone in irrigation of the touristic villages of the north coast with co-ordination with Ministry of irrigation. Alexandria Sanitary Drainage Company (ASDCO) has about 16 secondary wastewater treatment plants producing about 1.6 million m3 per day of treated effluent. We made the first step in this project which is selling the treated wastewater that is the output of the kilo 26 secondary treatment plant to Alex West Housing Compound for irrigating landscapes.
  • 2. 1. INTRODUCTION: Alexandria Sanitary Drainage Company is an affiliated company for the holding company for water and wastewater which was established in 2004 and subjected to the law 203. This means that Alexandria Sanitary Drainage Company (ASDCO) should offer the sanitation services for the people with a suitable revenue cost. The current applied tariff is about 50% of the total water bill (this sum is considered only about 45% of the total costs and 25% of the actual O&M costs). A major challenge that faces ASDCO is to close the gap between the limited financial resources available and the competing users’ escalating demand for sanitation. The Government should implement policies to manage shortages of the financial resources. This requires developing appropriate pricing and financing rules along with an institutional framework that encourages sustainable usage practices supply. The Regulatory Agency for Water and Wastewater was established by the presidential decree 136 in 2004 to consider tariff resetting. Until then, the government will pay a subsidiary for the difference between cost and revenue in ASDCO. Currently, the government is committed to offer the essential finance resources for the capital investment of the Water and Wastewater utilities in addition to loans and offers from the foreign donors and government. Since the government policy has shifted to integrated water quality and quantity management, financing mechanisms must meet multiple objectives including revenue generation, economic efficiency, and equity. In general, one of these three objectives is best met by the optimum utilization of treated wastewater which will assist in avoiding the poor water quantity reaching Alexandria. The term wastewater reuse is often used synonymously with the terms wastewater recycling and wastewater reclamation. The most common reason for establishing a wastewater reuse program is to identify new water resources for increased water demand and to find economical ways to meet increasingly more stringent discharge standards. The Use of treated wastewater is an attractive option as the quantity generated will rise with population and increased industrial activity. At the same time, treatment capacity is expected to grow; 2) Treated wastewater could be substituted in applications such as potential nonagricultural uses including industrial cooling; irrigation of public parks, schoolyards, highway medians, and residential landscapes; fire protection; and flushing toilets in commercial and industrial buildings; 3) For agriculture, it can be mixed with fresh water, thereby economizing on the use of the latter, or used to grow non-food crops in currently un- or under-utilized desert areas, where it would otherwise serve no useful purpose. Put differently, it enables horizontal expansion with little or no opportunity cost; 4) The nutrients in reclaimed water reduce the need for applying chemical fertilizers, thereby reducing costs and environmental problems associated with run-off of such chemicals.; 5) It can serve as an environmentally superior alternative to disposing of wastewater in the sea or other water bodies. However, there are risks requiring that the quality of treated wastewater will be taken into account in deciding appropriate uses. It is important to allow safe and economically responsible reuse of Alexandria treated wastewater in order to make the best use of the existing resources and to protect the environment and human health. Wastewater reuse can reduce Lake Maryout deterioration, while minimizing the amount of wastewater discharged to the aqueous environment of the lake.
  • 3. 2. METHODOLOGY: 2.1 A survey was done to search for facilities or areas that could possibly use treated effluent from Alexandria wastewater treatment plants in any possible activities. 2.2 Survey of the wastewater treatment plants of ASDCO, their capacities and the areas around each treatment plant that could be considered for reuse. 2.3 Proposing a pilot project to raise the public awareness of the young and adults about the idea of sanitation and wastewater treatment stages. 3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: 3.1 Effluent demand: 3.1.1 Industrial demand: According to our search no industries are willing to consider using treated effluent from Alexandria wastewater treatment plants in any industrial activities, due to the concern about the safety of using this effluent and the risk of loosing their market. Taking into account that other sources of clean water are available in affordable prices. However, some industries reuse their own treated effluent within their property (As an example Rakta Paper Company). 3.1.2 Urban demand: From our search only urban areas located outside Alexandria especially in arid zones can use treated effluent in irrigating green yards (this is mainly due to the shortage of water resources allover the year). Example: ASDCO contract with Alex West Housing compound to receive treated wastewater from the km 26 wastewater secondary treatment plant (4000 m3/d) to be reused in irrigating the green areas all around the compound. Figure (1) shows the location of Alex West compound along the km 26 on Mehwar El Taameer Road. Figure (1): Location of Alex West Housing compound receiving treated wastewater for irrigation. It could be possible also to use the treated effluent from the ETP (after upgrading the degree of treatment to secondary treatment) inside Alexandria in some clubs within the city as located in the following map, figure (2), taken by Google Earth. The quality of the treated wastewater required for reuse in irrigation is according to the standards of effluent reuse mentioned In Law 93 year 1962 and its regulation 44 year 2000.
  • 4. This could be done with a challenging price which is 25 piaster increased to about 40 piaster compared to the price of the turbid and drinking water from Alexandria water company that costs between 65 piaster to 125 piaster. That for sure helps in developing the financial situation of the company, which can add around 2,52 million pounds per day in case we succeeded to sell all the amount of treated waste water Figure (2): Location of proposed clubs which could use the treated effluent in irrigation of the green areas. 3.1.3 Agricultural demand: The feasibility of treated wastewater reuse for irrigation will largely depend on Type of treatment and of industrial pollutants; Availability of suitable areas for irrigation; Irrigation methods and soil types; Cropping pattern; Matching supply and demand; Environmental impacts and Costs. The decree of the Minister of Housing No. (44)/2000 defines criteria and indicators that list the kinds of uses of wastewater effluents that may be put to in the case that these criteria and indicators are fulfilled. The decree shows the maximum limits set for the criteria allowed for the use of treated wastewater in agriculture. The current needs for all purposes at Alexandria are fulfilled from the available resources. But the required demand will increase by year 2017 to approximately 3 million m3 which should be provided from non-regular resources like reuse of treated wastewater with an amount of 0.5 million m3 which will be used only in arid desert areas west Alexandria which suffers from severe lack of water resources. This situation could change under the case if there would be a decrease in Alexandria’s share of water resources. Thus, it would be worth to reuse all treated wastewater in irrigation within Alexandria with rates covering the expected decrease in water quantities from different water resources. Fortunately, the main wastewater treatment plants are adjacent to the agricultural areas inside Alexandria in Abis area and in Amriya, they have the advantage to reuse the treated effluent without the need for additional construction to transfer water. 3.2 Cultivation Options: The experiments have shown that the assembly of trees in an area of one acre of agricultural land absorbs 450 kg of carbon dioxide and produces 250 kg oxygen/hour. This will lead to improvement of the quality of the air, as each tree absorbs 1.7 kg of carbon dioxide and produces 140 L/d oxygen. In addition to reducing the speed of dust-laden air, which leads to the deposition of airborne contaminants air becomes cleaner. Irrigation of timber trees
  • 5. with treated wastewater gives it a high economic return than the irrigation areas that are irrigated with irrigation water. It has high content of nutrients and organic materials which improve the fertility of the agricultural soils. The substitution of domestically produced wood instead of imported wood in industry improves the balance of payments and reduces inflation. The Egyptian code 501/2005 discusses the possibilities of using treated wastewater in agriculture that could help in increasing income: • Planting trees for energy production, such as Jojoba, Jatropha and Castor for the production of bio-fuels as a source of renewable energy. Currently, there are 400 acres already fully planted with Jatropha for bio-fuel production in the forest of El-Sadaaka in Suez Governorate (with the contribution of the private sector). It was also decided in accordance with the agreement with the Korean Government to plant 575 acres with Jatropha in the area of Abu Rawash, then consider this area as a nursery for the cultivation of 240,000 acres in the El-saf area. • Cultivation of fiber plants such as flax and kenaf and jute. • Cultivation of plants producing oils such as canola, sunflower and soybeans. • Cultivation of ornamental plants and flowers such as roses and carnations farmyard. • Planting timber trees, which can be grown as a forest: Cypress, Bamboo, Poplar, Conifers, Kaya, Eucalyptus, Acacia, Berries, and Kazhurana. These types are characterized by their high economic value. 3.3 Reuse options of Alexandria WWTPs effluent: In Alexandria, effluent from wastewater treatment systems could be reused for urban landscaping, irrigation of many areas in each district. The direct reuse of treated wastewater into irrigation is preferable in the following cases: Irrigation of green areas in resorts and golf playgrounds and similar conditions. Green areas inside residence cordons in new cities. Irrigation of green belts all around the cities. Plantation of highways. Irrigation of desert lands to be reserved for agricultural investment and specially irrigated with treated wastewater. The wastewater treatment plants of Alexandria, their capacities, current final disposal points and planned upgrading are presented in table (1). 3.3.1 Effluent form East treatment plant: The wastewater treated effluent from the existing East Wastewater treatment Plant-ETP (after implementation of the under-executing extension projects and adding secondary treatment units) will have a huge quantity of about 830,000 m3/day of water suitable for reuse in irrigation of green areas in the near districts and plantation of the highways entrance to Alexandria.
  • 6. Table (1): Capacities of Alexandria Wastewater Treatment Plants, and final disposal points. The treated effluent from the ETP could be reused in irrigation of green and landscaping areas in many locations near to the plant such as: Smouha club, Sporting club, the Lagoon resort, Acacia and Gardenia. Moreover, the effluent of this plant could be reused in plantation of the near highways such as: the end part of the Cairo/Alexandria agricultural Road, the northern part of Cairo/Alexandria desert road starting at Carrefour ending at the Mediterranean coast. In addition, the eastern part of the coastal and the ring roads around Alexandria. There is need to have network pipelines to transfer the effluent to the location of reuse. 3.3.2 Effluent form west treatment plant : The wastewater treated effluent from the existing West Wastewater Treatment Plant-WTP (after implementation of the under-executing extension projects and adding secondary treatment units) will have a big quantity of about 680,000 m3/day of water suitable for reuse. The treated effluent from this Plant could be reused in irrigation of green areas in El-Dekhila & Agamy districts and the West Noubaria Housing area which are near to the WWTP. Moreover, the effluent of this plant could be reused in plantation of the near highways such as: the western part of the coastal and the ring roads around Alexandria.
  • 7. Another possible solution is to combine the secondary treated effluent from both East and West treatment plants into one line and transfer to the proposed land suggested by ASDCO (70,000 feddan), south Alexandria and west the Noubaria canal figure (3). This suggestion was mentioned as one of the solutions for reuse in the WRc Study. Part of the effluent of the Western plant could also be pumped to the nearest desert area in Amriya and/or Borg El-Arab to irrigate green belts all around them and irrigate the reserved areas for agricultural investment. 3.3.3 Effluents form small WWTPs : 3.3.3.1 El-Agamy (km 21) Wastewater treatment plant and the new proposed plants near the western coastal beaches, the effluents could be reused in irrigation of green areas in resorts and golf play grounds and similar conditions. Effluents from Ard El-Hesh (Hanoville) treatment plant and from El-Amriya treatment plant could be collected together at the Agamy treatment plant, then conveyed to the north coast were effluents could be used in irrigation. The proposed conveyance system is shown in figure (4). Complete reuse of secondary effluent could be used in irrigating touristic villages to overcome the shortage in pure water supply in west area of Alexandria through the National plan for irrigation as, this is a corner stone to ensure improving aquatic environment of Lake Maryout. The plan for marketing this treated effluent could be applied as the system (contract) already used between ASDCO and Alex West housing compound. The contract states that the client (Alex West) receives 4000 m3/day of treated effluent with a price of 0.25 + 10% annual increase (the current price reached 0.33 L.E/day at 2011) and the conveyance system is constructed by the client and on his own expenses. The expected volume of treated effluent from Ard El-Hesh (Hannoville TP), Amriya treatment plant and Agamy TPs are 50,000, 15,000 and 200,000 m3/day respectively. This gives a total amount of 265,000 m3/day with total expected revenue of 87,450.00 L.E/day This price 0.33 L.E/m3 is feasible for investment to any client along the North coast as the current price of turbid water currently reaching these areas is 0.65 L.E/m3 and with lower qualities than the treated effluent. The use of treated effluent instead of turbid water in irrigation along the North coast has several benefits for example the treated effluent contains nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorus) this will enrich the green areas and provide safe fertilizers, it assures continuous supply of treated wastewater during the year, save clean water from Hammam canal to be used for domestic use serving the new extensions along the west desert. 3.3.3.2 Borg Al-Arab WWTP: lie in a desert location and near to the West Egyptian Desert and therefore, the effluent of the existing and the new proposed wastewater treatment plants in this zone could be reused for many purposes such as: irrigation of green belts all around the zone, plantation of highways and irrigation of desert lands that can be reserved for agricultural investment and specially irrigated with treated wastewater, shown in figure (5). 3.3.3.3 El-Maamora, El-Seiouf, Abis and the zones around are already positioned near to agricultural areas, and therefore the effluent of the existing and the proposed wastewater treatment plants in these zones could be used for irrigation of the nearby agricultural areas after improving the quality of the effluent according to the Egyptian guidelines for wastewater reuse, shown in figure (6).
  • 8. Figure (3): Location of ASDCO’s proposed land to use the treated effluent. To North Coast Villages Figure (4): Proposal for marketing effluent of Hanoville, Amriya and Agamy WWTPs.
  • 9. 3.4 Proposed public awareness Pilot Project: One of the main Challenges that face this national project is the lack of public awareness about the procedure of wastewater treatment. The public often does not understand the quality difference between treated and untreated wastewater. To overcome this problem Education is the key to overcome public fears about a reuse system, particularly fears that relate to public health and water quality. “A broad, in-depth public relations program and a demonstration project are especially helpful when the reuse project is the first of its kind in the state” says Curtis Stultz, assistant superintendent, Wastewater Treatment Plant for the City of Woodburn, Oregon. The public can either be your ally or your worst nightmare. The primary purpose of this pilot project is to raise the public awareness of the young and adults about the idea of sanitation and wastewater treatment stages, from which we can extract secondary treated wastewater which is valid for reuse and safe sludge that can be used as an organic fertilizer in farming according to the Egyptian code for reuse. The project consists of two parts: 3.4.1 Educational part: The educational part is to construct a Maquette to demonstrate and explain interactively the beginning of the journey of wastewater from houses to enter the public sewerage network, the connection to pumping stations and treatment plants, and the treatment process until we extract the treated wastewater and sludge. Then the journey will end with the arrival of the sludge to site 9N to be treated and the treated effluent reaching an agricultural land where it is used in irrigation and turns into green. The pilot must be supported with cartoon films for children and documentary films for adults. Figure (7) presents a similar pilot project in Berlin-Germany. 3.4.2 Field part: This part requires allocating a piece of land, divided into three parts. The first to be constructed with a greenhouse for planting some ornamental plants that require greenhouses, figure (8), the second to be grown with artificial grass, the third to be planted with types of rare palm trees that have a fast economic return. These three parts will be irrigated using treated wastewater and fertilized by composted sludge as an organic fertilizer produced out of wastewater. A laboratory will be built near this area to provide periodic analysis of both soils and plants to determine the effect and long term effect on using both treated wastewater and treated sludge, and the validity for reuse. This pilot is suggested to be located adjacent to the Agamy (Km 21) WWTP to ensure all the requirements of the area, treated wastewater and sludge. A sale outlet can be provided at the center of the city to sale products from this pilot project. This could be, for example, at the Sporting pump station, as its location is appropriate and products (Flowers and seedlings of ornamental plants) can be marketed easily with an appealing brand name.
  • 10. Figure (5): Proposal for marketing effluent of Borg El-Arab WWTP. Figure (6): Proposal for marketing effluent of Maamora and small WWTPs. Figure (7): Maquette showing the wastewater treatment process.
  • 11. Figure (8): Greenhouse using treated wastewater irrigation system. 4. CONCLUSIONS Lack of public awareness about the procedure of wastewater treatment, the need for reuse of treated wastewater to overcome the expected scarcity of water, and the benefits of reuse could be accomplished by this proposed pilot public awareness project. However, the implementation of this project will face difficulties in issues like the environmental permits, health aspects and environmental impact study. This subject was in concern lately at the Holding company for water and wastewater with donors whom are willing to participate in overcoming these obstacles. This matter requires more specific studies and funding for implementation. 4.1 The place where the effluents exist is so far from the areas that would be used in. That is because of most of the wastewater treatment plants are concentrated in the east part of the city and most of the areas that the treated wastewater will be used in the far west of the city. 4.2 The slope of the surface is low in the east and high in the west and that makes difficulty in reaching the effluents to the west related to pumping costs. 4.3 Marketability of Alexandria effluents problems is: 4.3.1 The bad reputation of the wastewater and how to convince the client to use it. 4.3.2 The public awareness to citizens of Alexandria city that they can use this water safely in the fields mentioned in the Egyptian code. 4.3.3 Psychological factors that make the people don’t be convinced to use this water and in the same time they know that this water is safe to use but they prefer to don’t use it. 4.3.4 There are no motives to make people use this water, and the most important motive for the client to make him use this water is the price and we are trying to make a challenging price which to motive him to use this water.
  • 12. 5. RECOMMENDATIONS: 5.1 As all wastewater, treated or untreated, goes back to the waterway system, either Lake Maryout or the Mediterranean, which deteriorates in quality, limiting its use, it is recommended that: 1) The coverage of sanitation systems for cities and villages should be accelerated; 2) It is better to separate industrial waste away from the sewerage system; 3) Use the treated wastewater in the same area where it was produced; 4) Review all available legislation for treated wastewater use in agriculture; 5) Carry out an environmental study to determine its negative impacts on: soil properties; groundwater; cultivated crops; farmers; and other. Such a study should propose measures for mitigation of these impacts. 5.2 As there is lack of public awareness about the procedure of wastewater treatment, the need for reuse of treated wastewater to overcome the expected scarcity of water, and the benefits of reuse could be accomplished by this proposed pilot project. However, the implementation of this project will face difficulties in issues like the environmental permits, health aspects and environmental impact study for this project. This subject was in concern lately at the Holding company for water and wastewater with donors whom are willing to participate in overcoming these obstacles. This matter requires more specific studies and funding for implementation. The plan for marketing this treated effluent could be applied as the system (contract) already used between ASDCO and Alex West housing compound. The contract states that the client (Alex West) receives 4000 m3/day of treated effluent with a price of 0.25 + 10% annual increase (the current price reached 0.33 L.E/day at 2011) and the conveyance system is constructed by the client and on his own expenses. The expected volume of treated effluent from Ard El-Hesh (Hannoville TP), Amriya treatment plant and Agamy TPs are 50,000, 15,000 and 200,000 m3/day respectively. This gives a total amount of 265,000 m3/day with total expected revenue of 87,450.00 L.E/day This price 0.33 L.E/m3 is feasible for investment to any client along the North coast as the current price of turbid water currently reaching these areas is 0.65 L.E/m3 and with lower qualities than the treated effluent. The use of treated effluent instead of turbid water in irrigation along the North coast has several benefits for example the treated effluent contains nutrients (Nitrogen and Phosphorus) this will enrich the green areas and provide safe fertilizers, it assures continuous supply of treated wastewater during the year, save clean water from Hammam canal to be used for domestic use serving the new extensions along the west desert. REFERENCES: 1. 1- Egyptian code for re-use 501 of 2005. 2. 2- Maximizing the use of treated sanitary wastewater in agriculture, Professor Dr.Nabil Fathi Mr. Kandil, Research Institute of Land and Water and the Environment-Agricultural Research Center. 3. 3- Environment Law No. (4) for the year 1994. 4. 4- Wastewater reuse conserves water and protect water ways By Caigan McKenzie • NESC Staff Writer. 5. 5- European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) Dialogues 6. Egyptian Dialogue on National Planning for Wastewater Reuse 7. 6- Integrated water resource management 2 8. Feasibility of wastewater reuse 9. Report no.14, Russell Misheloff, IRG Principal, IWRM II Project Manager, Senior Economist