16/06/2014 Wastewater Management and Assessment of Pollution Loads PERSGA Region

In collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), PERSGA organized a regional workshop on waste water management and pollution load assessments for coastal cities of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. The workshop was carried out at PERSGA headquarters in Jeddah over the period 16-18 June 2014. This activity was carried out in the framework of PERSGA’s continuous efforts towards the protection of the marine and coastal environment from land-based pollution sources.Waste water is considered one of the most important pollution sources from land. Participants in the workshop included about 20 specialists from the region and an invited international expert.

PERSGA Secretary General Prof. Ziad Abu Ghararah indicated that waste water cannot continue to be considered as a waste product that needs to be removed in any way possible, but rather as an important water resource, especially in a hot, arid region such as that of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It was therefore essential to consider effective waste water management and reuse of treated water for industrial and agricultural purposes and in landscaping. The resulting sludge also should be considered for use in energy production and as a land fertilizer.

As a further benefit, effective waste water treatment and prevention of its discharge to the coastal environment will have significant positive effects on the protection of the coastal environment, natural marine resources and human health. The aims of the workshop included producing regional guidelines for effective waste water management and suggesting a reasonable time frame for stopping discharge of untreated or partially treated waste water into the coastal environment. The guidelines will also include suggestions for suitable waste water treatment systems that can fulfill the needs of coastal communities and will also identify training needs for operators, so that the existing treatment plants and plants that will be introduced will operate optimally and provide the best possible benefits to coastal communities.

The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden