EghtesadOnline: Close to 172 million cubic meters of wastewater is recycled in Isfahan Province every year, head of the provincial water company said.
"The need to treat and reuse wastewater is crucial to cope with the worsening water crisis," Hashem Amini was quoted as saying by Energy Newcomes, a domestic privately-owned media group.
He noted that of the total annual output (172 mcm), 60% or 100 mcm is used for farming and the rest for industries, watering green spaces, maintaining watersheds and developing anti-desertification programs.
After Yazd, Isfahan is the second biggest industrial hub in the country and 70% of Iran’s steel is manufactured in this province, which explains why tapping into unconventional water resources has become a major compulsion, according to Financial Tribune.
Referring to a contract between Isfahan Water and Wastewater Company and Mobarakeh Steel Company – the biggest domestic steelmaker in the same province, Amini said the former is obliged to supply the latter 600 mcm of wastewater over the next 30 years. The project to transfer wastewater from Mobarakeh, Delijan counties to the steel factory started in June.
The venture was aimed at tapping into unconventional water resources like reclaimed water, fighting the crippling drought in the central plateau and safeguarding the environment as releasing untreated wastewater into the ecosystem could result in irreparable loss.
The project entailed construction of a large network to collect and transfer sewage to the complex from counties in the vicinity.
In a similar move other steel factories, namely Isfahan Steel Company, are taking steps to curb water consumption and conserve as much water as possible by drawing on unconventional resources.
According to Mansour Yazdizadeh, managing director of Isfahan Steel Company -- Iran's third largest steel producer -- a 5km pipeline is being laid to supply wastewater from lagoons in the vicinity of Zarrin-Shahr to wastewater plants in the steel company.
A part of the factory's water need in the past came from Zayandehroud Dam, but due to the extended water crisis in the region and beyond the steel company was ordered to stop using fresh water until 2021.
Amini went on to say that to reduce demand for fresh water in Isfahan, an agreement was signed by the provincial water company and the provincial engineering council to build infrastructure for greywater treatment systems in urban and suburban areas.
Isfahan University, Isfahan City Center, a large commercial and entertainment mall, have been equipped with greywater reuse systems and plans are underway to further expand the system.
Greywater is defined as any domestic wastewater produced, excluding sewage. The main difference between greywater and sewage (blackwater) is the organic loading. Sewage has a much larger organic loading compared to greywater. Greywater is captured from household sources like sinks, hand-basins, showers, etc.
Greywater accounts for 60% of urban sewage in the province, a large proportion of which can be recycled.
Economic experts and environmentalists argue strongly against using high quality and costly potable water for purposes that do not require quality water, like farming.
Daily average water use of Isfahan households is 150 liters per person, but because the region is fighting (a losing battle) against drought, consumption levels need to be reduced to 100 liters, the local water company has said.
Reuse of greywater is being increasingly practiced in many countries, namely the United States, Australia, Cyprus, the UK, Germany and Jordan.