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Wastewater treatment technology to be introduced in major cities

By Our Correspondent
February 01, 2021

Islamabad: The indigenous technology for the treatment of wastewater would now be introduced in other cities to thwart the increasing threat of waterborne diseases.

The government carried out a pilot project at National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) for treatment of wastewater through bioremediation and it proved to be a great success that has achieved all desired results. According to the official data, some 4.36 billion cubic meters of (BCM) wastewater is generated annually including industrial wastewater (1.30 BCM) and domestic water (3.06 BCM). At present, less than one percent of total wastewater in the country is treated before its disposal.

Around 1.02 BCM of wastewater is directly used for irrigation purposes without any treatment. Similarly, the data showed that 1.43 BCM of untreated municipal wastewater is discharged annually directly into the major rivers. As many as 32,000 hectares of agricultural land is equipped for irrigation by direct use of untreated municipal wastewater. It revealed that the untreated wastewater is incurring annual income losses of 380 million dollars and causing the death of 250,000 children under five every year due to waterborne diseases. The experts pointed out that the economic incentives were not introduced in the past for industries to acquire environment-friendly technology.

The problem of wastewater disposal tends to stem from distortions after the failure of targeted environmental policies. Thus laws and regulations were formulated about treatment and disposal of wastewater but their implementation due to lack of resources and skilled manpower remained the real issue.