NWC said it has finished an expansion project for a wastewater triple treatment plant in Wadi Al-Araj, north of Taif, at a total cost of SAR 167 million, increasing capacity by 80,000 m3 daily. The total capacity of Taif environment treatment plants has been raised from 67,000 m3 to 147,000 m3 daily after completion of the project.
Eng. Said Mohammed Al-Amri, Senior Director of NWC for Makkah and Taif, said CEO Dr. Loay Ahmed Al-Musallam recently inaugurated the plant expansion, part of the facility’s environment services system. The system aims to protect the environment against bad water, treats wastewater, delivers a product compatible with Saudi specifications for unrestricted irrigation water, supplies networks of treated water (non-potable) with quantities needed for municipality/agricultural/industrial purposes in Taif, and supplies firefighting networks. He added that the project was executed to handle the increasing quantities of incoming wastewater to the plant from Taif due to urban expansion and an increasing population.
Eng. Al-Amri stated that the pilot operation stage of the new plant started at the end of August 2014 to determine the efficiency of the plant. The plant was supplied gradually with raw wastewater until it reached its full operational capacity in all units. He added that the treatment plant at Wadi Al-Araj uses the latest technologies in operating environmental services plants, and this advanced type of plants is an environmentally friendly solution and reduces the negative effects of sludge on the environment.
Eng. Al-Amri added that NWC is very selective when choosing the plant installation contractors and equipment providers. This project proves NWC is keen on using renewable and latent energy in wastewater for reducing environmental impact. The plant uses an advanced triple biological treatment method with two types of extended aeration basins, while the actual plant uses a superficial aeration system. The expansion plant uses an aeration system from the bottom of the aeration basin called air diffusers. A UV system is used for sterilizing treated water.
He also said NWC is now executing a number of projects in Taif at a total cost of SAR 1 billion to expand water and wastewater services. The aim is to cover populated areas as well as cope with urban expansion in the city. House links shall be connected to a large number of clients’ houses and residential plots. NWC has made future plans to raise house connections to more than 9,000 a year.
Eng. Al-Amri explained NWC supplies quantities of treated water to a number of government and industrial organizations such as Taif municipality, which uses its supplies to irrigate public gardens and parks. NWC made an agreement with MAADEN Company to lay a 500 km pipeline to transfer treated water from Wadi Al-Arj to the latter’s projects.
Eng. Al-Amri said that the project was implemented ahead of time. It was partially operated in the summer of 2013 to treat the large flow of water that was beyond the plant’s actual capacity. The final treatment results were compatible with the highest international standards. He pointed out that this achievement could be considered an economic asset for the NWC because the treated water would be used for many purposes such as industrial and agricultural use. He said NWC applies the highest standards when protecting plant employees in terms of using personal protection equipment, when issuing work permits for maintenance work by operation and safety teams and notifying the control room of such procedures. A safety procedures guide has been issued for handling chemical materials. Treated water is to be checked in line with wastewater regulations issued by the Ministry of Water and Electricity before drainage to Wadi Al-Arj or transfer to customers, he said.
Eng. Mohammed Al-Rabi’e, NWC Capital Projects Manager for Taif, said since NWC took over water works and environment services in 2011 it has been expanding its services by increasing house links in its actual networks, adding unserved areas to its investment programs and repairing environmental damage due to wastewater leakage. The number of customers served by the wastewater network in Taif has reached more than 36,000 houses.
Eng. Al-Rabi’e said NWC serves its customers according to the best international standards in line with the vision of the country’s leaders and in order to serve citizens and residents. The expansion projects was set up to cope with the volume of sewage projects under construction worth SAR 900 million. These projects are to be linked to the treatment plant that will handle the wastewater flow from sewage networks and treat it in line with the highest standards and according to industrial agricultural needs.
Eng. Sultan Al-Khadidi, Execution Supervisor of the plant expansion, said the triple treatment of wastewater has four stages. First, preliminary treatment using rough mechanical refineries and sand, oil and lubricants removal. Second, biological treatment using aerial basins by the diffusers system and final depositing basins. Third, sand filters and sterilization by UV. Fourth, treatment using sludge concentration basins and sludge dryers and disposal units.
Al-Khadidi added that the project has been executed according to the highest technical specifications and will provide a high quality of control and monitoring of treatment operations.