New treatment plant to help Gaza’s wastewater crisis
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Palestinian Water Authority announced Dec. 11 that the new Beit Lahia wastewater treatment plant in the northern Gaza Strip will treat up to 35,000 cubic meters per day.
In an agreement with the Palestinian Energy Authority and the Gaza Electricity Distribution Company, the plant will be provided with 6 megawatts of electricity to operate.
Israel allowed the entry of the equipment needed to construct the plant in November, and it said it would supply the plant with a power line that will be active 24/7.
Wastewater had reached the Israeli beaches near the northern Gaza Strip in the summer of 2017, pushing the Israeli government to warn its citizens against using them.
Munther Shiblaq, director general of the CMWU, told Al-Monitor, “Of the wastewater in the northern Gaza Strip, 26% ends up in cesspits.
The delay in the construction of the Beit Lahia plant has caused a health and environmental disaster, as these cesspits are scattered around residential areas.” He stressed that since 2000, the CMWU has been planning the construction of strategic treatment plants to keep pace with the demographic increase and use the treated water to irrigate crops.
The CMWU expanded the capacity of existing stations as a temporary solution, but the electricity crisis exacerbated the problem by preventing the stations from operating.
He said that construction for the two stations to begin their first phase of operations is expected to be completed in 2019.
He added, “The authority is cooperating with the concerned parties to find a solution to the crisis of wastewater, as more than 73% of the sea water along the Gazan coast was contaminated last July, which negatively affected the 2017 summer season.
Only 23% of the sea water was contaminated before 2014.