EghtesadOnline: An estimated 91 million cubic meters of wastewater was transferred from the South Tehran Wastewater Treatment Complex to farms in the Varamin Plain 40km southeast of the capital in the past six months, the operator at Tehran Water and Wastewater Company said Saturday.
“TWWC has plans to supply 80 mcm of wastewater to farmers in the region by next March,” Morteza Ehteshami was quoted as saying by the Energy Ministry news portal.
As per a 2015 agreement between TWWC and Tehran Refinery, the former should provide the latter 2 mcm of wastewater per annum for 30 years.
According to the official, close to 600,000 cubic meters of wastewater has so far been supplied to the refinery, Financial Tribune reported.
This volume of water accounts for 5% of South Tehran Wastewater Treatment Complex capacity at 1.2 billion cubic meters per year.
"Nearly 2 mcm of sewage will be diverted to the refinery per year of which 60% will go to the treatment complex via a 3.5 kilometer pipeline."
While 48% of the country’s treated wastewater is used in the agricultural sector, 45% of it enters surface waters, less than 0.5% is used by industries and 5% to irrigate urban green spaces.
Noting that wastewater output is around 1.2 billion cubic meters per year, Ehteshami said 70% of water used by households can and should be reused in wastewater treatment plants.
Unlike some countries, recycled wastewater is not used for drinking purposes in Iran as it is against Islamic tenets. Wastewater is used largely for industrial and agricultural needs.
The population covered by the national wastewater network has surged from 2.4 million to 30 million over the last three decades, he said.
Expansion of wastewater network has been a priority in the sprawling capital in recent decades, but lack of funds in addition to rapid expansion of urban areas has slowed, and at times hampered, the process.
Not only does TWWC help the key agro sector and industries meet water needs, it has a biogas plant that is linked to the national electricity grid.
Ehteshami said this plant generated about $700 million in revenues between March and August, up 30% compared to last year.
A biogas plant optimizes the utilization of manure, waste and other organic feedstock by converting biomass into energy.