In recent weeks, years of planning and construction of a waste water treatment facility near Nablus have been concluded. The construction of theplant—which was approved and executed in close cooperation with the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria—will provide for the purification of waste emanating from Nablus and its vicinity.
Date: 23.07.13 Author: Uriya Baumer
Construction of the facility began in September 2010, costing a total of 32 million Euro. The project, which was funded by the German KFW development Bank, was orchestrated in coordination with the Nablus District and Coordination Liaison unit and representatives of the various government offices at the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria (water, transportation, environment, etc.).
As the construction of the facility has been completed, approval for operation of the facility is currently pending. The facility is now in an experimental phase, during which the purified water is tested to ensure that it meets the required standards. Initially, a “dry” experiment was conductedto test the operation of the mechanical equipment before adding water. After a successful “dry” run, the facility is now undergoing a “wet” run, in which test is completed with waste water as if in full operation.
After a successful experimental phase proving that the treated water is up to standards necessary to make sewerage water usable, the facility will serve the residents of Nablus and the vicinity. In its first stage, the plant will serve approximately 100,000 residents. In the future, as the population grows, the facility is expected to serve up to 240,000 Palestinian residents. The aspiration is that by the end of 2013, the facility will begin routine operation.
The facility will purify the sewerage water of Nablus and the vicinity, thereby reducing the quantity of flowing sewerage .The plant will contribute to environmental quality protection in the entire region, as it reduces the quantity of sewage and pollution that flows in the Nablus River, which flows, in turn, to areas in Israel (Alexander Stream). In addition to reducing harm to the environment, the plant will, of course, provide additional water for use in Judea and Samaria.The aim is to begin research to examine the possibility of using the treated water in agriculture.
Use of the water in agriculture will enhance water supplies in Judea and Samaria and will add water for private use by the individual resident resident, as the facility will add about 2.5 million cubic meters per year to the total water supply of the Palestinian Authority. Additionally, the facility itself is environmentally friendly,as it generates its own electricity from natural resources, minimizing air pollution.
The entire scope of the project, from the design and through the construction of the facility, was facilitated in cooperation with officers from the Nablus DCL. The international organizations liaison officers at the DCL coordinated and followed the project consistently, especially the current officer, Lt. Sapir Mizrahi. Mizrahi maintained constant contact with the representatives of the German Kinetics Company, a German engineering firm hired by the KFW Bank toplan and oversee the construction of the facility.
“Every step made taken in the construction of the facility was done in coordination wiht the DCL – infrastructural approvals, security clearances, construction of the access road to the facility, erection of power lines, etc.”, noted Lt. Mizrahi. “I maintain constant contact with the Kinetics Company to help in every way possible, even if it is not part of the typical DCL functions, such as helping them in their contact with Israeli companies in order to facilitate better understanding between all parties.”
All parties express satisfaction from the results of the project and the cooperation. “I have very pleased with the project and the work with the DCL was very good”, noted Hans Matissen, the Kinetics Company project coordinator. After the facility begins operation, there will be two years of training during which German representatives will teach the Palestinians how to operate the facility, with the goal that they will be able to operate it independently after that time period. “We very much want to continue our involvement with the facility operation and to assist in the future with any request submitted”, concluded Lt. Mizrahi.
There are many projects currently being planned for the Nablus area, and the water issue is an integral partof the agenda. An establishment of another Waste Water Treatment facility of a similar capacity is currently in the planning stagesto serve the eastern region of the Nablus district—the plans are expected to be submitted by the beginning of 2014. Also, options for the installation of additional water lines in the area are being examined.
Two other large projects underway in the Nablus district are theconstruction of a central pharmaceutical warehouse for the entire Judea and Samaria region and a program for the rehabilitation of agricultural roads in the district.