Newsletter and Technical Publications
<International Source Book On Environmentally Sound Technologies
for Wastewater and Stormwater Management>
2.5 Disposal (Topic e)
Most guidelines and government regulations in West Asia countries for
effluent discharge standards are set to comply with WHO guidelines. The
application of these standards are not enforced in practice because the effluent
standards are too strict.
West Asia countries can be divided into three main categories according to
their disposal practices as follows:
- Category 1: Gulf areas, which includes Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar,
Kuwait, and UAE.
All countries in the Gulf area follow similar methods in the disposal of
wastewater effluent. A high percentage of wastewater after post treatment is
reused in irrigation of agriculture land or in landscaping while the remainder
is disposed into the sea after many advanced treatment techniques. This practice
is common in the Gulf region due the well-equipped treatment units and the
availability of advanced treatment plants.
Strict quality standards are followed before disposal and reuse, although
certain criteria parameters, it is thought, could be relaxed in order to fully
utilize the ever increasing volume of secondary treated effluent.
- Category 2: includes Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, and Syria
These countries are following moderate regulations for the disposal of
wastewater effluent. Effluent from wastewater treatment plants doesn't meet the
national or the international standards. This may be due to the condition or
inability of existing treatment plants to cope with loads of raw wastewater
influent. Based on this fact a high percentage of the effluent wastewater is
disposed to surface water bodies for later use in irrigation. The regulations in
these countries specify the types of crops that can be irrigated using this type
of treated water. Moreover, this water may be used for landscaping and for
industrial purposes. The government does not allow the disposal of raw
wastewater in wadies or by over land spreading. Violation of this regulation may
appear in the rural areas since they are not served or connected to the sewer
system (collection system).
- Category 3: includes West Bank, Iran, and Yemen
A large percentage of the wastewater effluents of these countries are
disposed to wadies and subsequently used for irrigation of cropped lands without
treatment. In Iran, unfortunately most of the wastewater effluents are used in
irrigation without meeting the national standards. Also some of the treatment
plant effluent is mixed with stormwater and some industrial wastewater. It has
been found that an estimated 240,288 hectares of lands are being irrigated by
raw wastewater in six provinces of Iran.
In the West Bank, raw sewage is disposed to the wadies from where it is used
for irrigation of all kinds of crops and vegetables. No environmental or health
control or consideration is given to the workers, products, soil or the possibility
of groundwater contamination.
In Yemen, raw wastewater is used for irrigation wherever it exists and can
be used for this purpose without any treatment to meet the standards of wastewater
Iran, West Bank, and Yemen have faced different difficulties in finding funds
to construct water and sewage projects. Also there is a training need for
technical operation, maintenance, and management. Furthermore, most of the
existing wastewater treatment plants are overloaded and not properly operated