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Locally Made Small Scale Activated Sludge Wastewater Treatment Plants: "An Alternative Solution to the Problem of Untreated Domestic Wastewater ,promoting reuse for the Irrigation of Home Gardens"

Place: palestine, Asia
Sustainable management of natural resources Sustainable management of natural resources
Total Budget: € 630.000,00 | Period: From April 2007 To April 2010

Summary

Despite the fact that wastewater is a major source of pollution it is considered a sustainable and valuable resource that should be collected, treated to acceptable standards and reused not only to preserve the environment and groundwater aquifers, but also to conserve and augment the water resources. The reuse of treated wastewater, mainly for agricultural irrigation, would promote water conservation through replacement of fresh water reallocated for domestic use from the Palestinian agricultural sector. The dispersed pattern of houses in the rural Palestinian localities and remote areas makes it economically unfeasible to construct wastewater collection networks and centralized wastewater treatment plants. On-Site small scale wastewater treatment plants, respond to the needs and conditions of rural localities, solving the wastewater collection and disposal problems in such communities, along with the benefit of generating a water resource that can be utilized for irrigation purposes

Partnership

Applied Research Institute - Jerusalem (ARIJ ) - Palestine

Lead applicant

Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) - Spain

Initiative partner

The Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is the main management body for Spanish cooperation, which combats poverty and works for sustainable human development. Its Charter states that the agency was created to foster full development, conceived as a fundamental human right, with the fight against poverty as part of the process for building this right. To this end, the Agency follows the guidelines of the 4th Master Plan, in accordance with the international agenda of the Millennium Development Goals and with a focus on three crosscutting axes: gender perspective, environmental quality and respect for cultural diversity.

Mennonite Mennonite Central Committee - Canada

Initiative partner

MCC is a global, non-profit organization that strives to share God’s love and compassion through relief, development and peace building. In all programs committed to relationships with local partners and churches — their needs guide our priorities. As an Anabaptist organization, strive to make peace a part of every task. When responding to disasters , work with local groups to distribute resources to minimize conflict. In development work , consult with communities to make sure the projects meet their needs; And advocate for policies that will lead to a more peaceful world.

The Present demographic growth and challenge of maintaining equilibrium between water availability and demand, made the developing of non-conventional water resources to be the closest solution to the current water scarcity. This challenge released the importance of converting the generated wastewater from a threat to the environment, to a real and good alternative solution to face the current water crisis. In countries with limited water resources , priorities are put to guarantee the domestic needs , forgetting the agriculture sector demand , putting at risk food security. On-Site small scale wastewater treatment plants respond to the needs and conditions in rural localities, solving the wastewater collection and disposal problems in such communities, and improving at the same time food security achieved by the generated non-conventional water resource that can be allocated for the agriculture sector

The developed locally made On-Site small scale wastewater treatment plant , simplified sophisticated  technology in a manner that made it  feasible to be adopted in rural comunities where there is no sewage collection network neither treatment infrastructure.The simplified buit onsite wastewater treatment system resulted in minimizing the construction , operation and maintenance costs . Achieving simplified alternatives for both sludge recirculation and system control, resulted in  making  maintenance to  such system , a task that does not need high  technical maintenance stuff ,specially that the adopted control pannel and recirculation mechanism avoided the use of sophisticated electromechanical equipment . The resulted approach demostrated to be feasible and sustainable , not only solving the faced environmental problems from the lack of wastewater treatment and collection infrastructure in rural areas , but also promoted the agriculture sector , improving food security

2_A_Main Innovation produced Illustrates the path of the wastewater and wastewater treatment plant process.
2_B_Main Innovation produced On the left hand:ARIJ Built mold to produce the main body of the onsite wastewater treatment plant. On the right hand: Produced biological reactor using specially built mold
2_C_Main Innovation produced Built locally made onsite wastewater treatment system irrigating fruit trees in an arid area . Al Ubeideya Village the bethlehem governorate - Palestine

The Agricultere sector in Palestine and which is characterized of having  limited water resources and arid lands, demand urgent solutions to solve the water scarcity shallenge that is threatening all the agriculure sector, putting food security at risk.
Poverty in the Palestinian rural areas made the already existing problem resulted from the lack of sewage colection and treatment infraestructure a real threat to the environment  and human health, since poor families  in the lack of economic resources to dispose the generated wastewater properly ,face the threat resulted form the polution of their surrounding environment and that in many cases result in a direct polution of their water cisterns,agricultural lands and crops.The proposed onsite wastewater treatment system came to solve those  problems providing at the same time a new water resource that aliviates the faced water scarcity problem contributing in increasing cultivated lands

3_A_Background and context : On the left hand: Polluted environment surrounding a household due to the disposed wastewater without any treatment, polluting a land cultivated with vineyards at Halhoul– Hebron Governorate. On the right hand: Pollution resulted from a house that lacks to any wastewater treatment infrastructure Beit Ummar– Hebron Governorate.
3_B_Background and context Fruit trees irrigated by locally made onsite wastewater treatment system in an arid area . Al Ubeideya Village Bethlehem Governorate - Palestine
3_C_Background and context A locally made onsite wastewater treatment system irrigating Vinyards in an arid area . El Shoyouk Village Hebron Governorate - Palestine

The adopted wastewater management system is implemented to serve the targeted hoseholds by collecting and treating the generated wastewater. This result in reducing the cost of Vacuuming the cesspits by 100% and thus households can use the saved money to reserved for food allowance which would contribute to household food security.
The shortage in water resources prevents the people from cultivating their home gardens and enhances their inaccessibility to food.Therefore, the new water resource is used to irrigate home gardens often cultivated with fruit trees.This is foreseen to improve household backyard farming production and thus enhancing their food security conditions.
The adoption of  the proposed  initiative  approach, came to solve the problem of cesspit and uncontrolled flooding of wastewater in recidencial areas and that used to afect  both the hygienic,heath and environmental conditions of the people living there.

../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 4_C_Main results achieved_brochure waste water Summary of installed systems in this project

The main beneficiaries of this initiative included families in rural communities where there is no sewage collection and treatment infrastructure.

Needs addressed:

1)      Generating a new water resource that can be reused in restricted irrigation, increasing the agricultural areas and enhancing food security.

2)      Solving a big portion of the problem resulting from the disposed volumes of untreated domestic wastewater preserving the environment.

3)      Mitigating and reducing of the health problems and risks .

4)      The household economy and sustainability by contributing in an increase of home gardens production by providing treated wastewater that can be reused after the adoption of local standard reuse recommendations.

5)      Provide an alternative solution to solve the wastewater problem especially in localities where buildings are dispersed and is unfeasible to construct wastewater collection networks.

6)      Combat the desertification
 

5_A Peach trees irrigated by locally made onsite wastewater treatment system in an arid area . converting the wastewater that used to pollute the served household surrounding land, to a useful water resource .Beit Ummar Village Hebron Governorate - Palestine
5_B Fruit trees irrigated by locally made onsite wastewater treatment system in an arid area , converting the wastewater that used to pollute the served household surrounding land, to a useful water resource . Al Ubeideya Village Bethlehem Governorate - Palestine
5_C Fruit trees irrigated by locally made onsite wastewater treatment system in an arid area, converting the wastewater that used to pollute the served household surrounding land, to a useful water resource . Dar Salah Village Bethlehem Governorate - Palestine
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 5_Main beneficiaries and needs addressed Some material that contain information related to the beneficiaries and needs addressed

This experience is the result of transforming research studies done at the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ)  to a useful tool that solves real life challenges and needs. Helping at the same time  in a sustainable Palestine.
ARIJ Institute is leaded by The Dr. Jad Issak who is ARIJ’s General Director.
This initiative was directly implemented and developed  through the Water and Environment Research Unit (WERU) and that has Ms. Jane Hilal as unit director  and relaying on two main researchers that are :
Elias Abu Mohor , who is an expert in wastewater treatment technologies (Task-Developing and implementing of technologies ) .
Enas Banoura , who is expert in laboratory testing procedures (Task-Assesing quality of obatined treated effluent). 

6_A Organizational Hierarchy of the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ),ARIJ-2014

Among the main difficulties faced during the implementation of the initiative were faced two main challenges:

1) How to make the built technology fits the local needs and requirements and that requested overcoming challenges as:

a)      Minimize the system costs, to make this technology available for a wider range of the society covering the poor and which are the most vulnerable part of the society.

b)       Minimize the operation and maintenance systems costs, and make it   sustainable.

To achieve this, the technology was built locally with local materials and simplified to minimize in both maintenance and operation costs.

2) How to promote the technology and overcome the fear of having it at home; to overcome this challenge was worked in awareness campaigns that included explanation of the technology principle and system positive impact over the end user.
 

7_A Built molds used for the mechanical filtration, and which comes after achieving biological treatment ,parts used to enhance the system operation and reduce maintenance requirements (needed to overcome technical limitations )
7_B Awareness Campaign (To explain the technology, advantages and other technical aspects) Activity done to overcome the fear of having it at home and to increase awareness among the targeted community). Beit Ummar Village Hebron Governorate - Palestine
7_C Awareness Campaign (To explain the technology, advantages and other technical aspects) Activity done to overcome the fear of having it at home and to increase awareness among the targeted community). Al Ubeideya Village Bethlehem Governorate - Palestine

The  existing  practices  for  managing  domestic  wastewater  in the Palestinian rural areas ,due to the abcence of appropiate infraestructure  are  limited  to  the  collection  of   wastewater in sewage networks and/or cesspits, and finally discharging the wastewater into open areas including valeys and agricultural land without any treatment. The existing improper management of wastewater, in the rural areas, poses a severe environmental threat. Wastewater has the capacity to deteriorate nature and biodiversity, as well as groundwater quality.  It has also posed serious public health risks, shown by the spread of diseases arising from the contamination of food, water, air, and soil.
The adoption of the proposed solution will contribute to the improvement of sanitation and hygienic conditions , increasing at the same time the availability water by reusing the treated effluent in restricted irrigation, increasing the agricultural areas and enhancing food security

8_A Built locally made onsite wastewater treatment system ,replacing the polluted environment that used to be part of the landscape by a garden that contains ornamental and fruit trees. Beit Ummar Village Hebron Governorate - Palestine
8_B Built locally made onsite wastewater treatment system ,replacing the polluted environment by a garden that contains ornamental and fruit trees. Al Khader Village Bethlehem Governorate - Palestine
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 8_Doc_A_brochure waste water brochure waste water
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 8_Doc_B_Environmental impact_Some successful Stories Some successful Stories with before and after images

The sustainability of the proposed solution was one of the main faced challenges , and for that,  the system was  designed simplifiyng sophisticatd technology utilizing appropiate materials that quaranteed a long lasting system life. The  wastewater treatment is achieved utilizing air lift pumps, avoiding any diving mechanical moving part that could represent the risk of failure, the exposed to humid condition estructure was made of poliethilene guaranteeing a corrotion free sustainable estructure. The applied simplified technology that can be managed and maintained easily by common people. This technology has been sustained and functioned with feasible operational and maintenance costs.
As this technology has been manufactured in Palestine and there are many countries that are suffering from the same conditions and shallenges as water scarcity and lack public sewage network, thus this technology could be transferred and replicated to others countries.

../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 9_Doc_A_First_Arab_Regional_South-South_Development_EXPO,_ARIJ_TRANSFERABIL United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the proposed onsite wastewater treatment approach
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 9_Doc_B_Sustainability_InstructionsManual System service and maintenance brochure
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 9_Doc_D_UNEP_Elias_transferability Efforts recognition Letter from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), For the participation and contribution in providing green solutions for a sustainable growth.

To communicate and to spread the results achieved with this initiative  were utilized several methodologies among them:
1) direct onsite demonstrations, this by promoting the initiative trough visits to installed working systems and testimonies of families that enjoy the initiative advantages.
2) workshops, that includes presentations explaining the technology and its positive impact.
3) Scientific events , where scientific research documents were presented demonstrating achieved results.Example: Document  entitled: “ Challenge of treating Domestic Wastewater with locally made Activated Sludge  plants” .
4) Participating in international events and expos ,even gaining several International awards among them:
• Dubai International Award For Best Practices.
• Recognized as one of the top 10 Arab Start-ups Ready for Investment.
•  This initiative was one of the adopted solutions by the United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP),in the First Arab Regional South-South Development EXPO.

../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 10_ARIJ_ICEEP2 Paper_Proceedings of the Second International Conference on Energy and Environmental Protection in the Sustainable Development November 10-12, 2009, Hebron, PALESTINE
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 10_A_Dissemination Leaflets and Brochures:
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 10_A_bro1-2 Leaflet 1 Part 1 Arabic
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 10_A_bro2-2 Leaflet 1 Arabic Part 2
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 10_B_broback Leaflet 2 Arabic 1
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 10_B_brofront Leaflet 2 Arabic 2
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf 10_C_brochure waste water Dissemination Project Leaflet