EghtesadOnline: Close to 95% of the population in Hamedan City is covered by the wastewater network and only a few suburban areas need to be linked to the network, the managing director of Hamedan Province Water and Wastewater Company said.
“Hamedan Wastewater Treatment Plant now treats 650 liters of wastewater per second and the refined sewage goes for farming and Shahid Mofateh Thermal Power Plant,” the Energy Ministry news portal Paven quoted Hadi Hosseini Bidar as saying.
The recycled wastewater for farming has prevented creation of sinkholes in the plains and desertification as many farmers in the past used to consume groundwater from illegal deep wells, according to Financial Tribune.
“Recently 25 wells have been sealed around Hamedan City and we have replaced groundwater extraction with surface water,” the official noted.
Now only the first phase of the treatment plant in the city is operational and the other three phases are under construction. When completed, the plant will have the capacity to treat 2,560 liters of sewage per second.
There are eight wastewater treatment plants in Hamedan Province, covering about 75% of the total 1.750 million population.
Regarding precipitation, Hosseini Bidar said that the amount of rainfall in the province has dropped by 35% in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (March-December 2019) compared to the same period last year.
Hamedan is a historic city and Iran’s fifth biggest grape producer after Fars, Qazvin, Khorasan Razavi and West Azarbaijan provinces.
Illegal water wells have become a major dilemma for government that is trying, albeit with little success, to curb the high extraction and consumption rates, namely in the main farming regions.
Annually close to 49 billion cubic meters of water is extracted from authorized wells and 7.3 bcm from illegal wells across the country that is located in one of the world’s most water-stressed regions.
Of the 7,300 illegal wells in Hamedan Province 3,850 were sealed in the past five years, helping save 268 million cubic meters of water.
The move helped maintain a semblance of stability in groundwater levels in the region that was falling sharply.
According to Energy Ministry reports, there are almost 460,000 legal and 310,000 illegal wells in the country and every year an estimated 14,000 illegal wells are sealed.
Power Plants and Wastewater
Recycled wastewater accounts for 85% of water used in the Shahid Mofateh Power Plant cooling tower.
As per a directive issued by the Energy Ministry, it is mandatory for all thermal power plants to use reclaimed wastewater [instead of potable water] for their cooling towers.
It is a long-term plan to replace costly water from wells, lakes and rivers in power plants with reclaimed wastewater. A total of 123 thermal power plants are operational across the country.
Shahid Mofateh Power Plant is located 47 km northeast of Hamedan. It has four gas units with a design capacity of 1000 megawatts.
Environmentalists and experts are of the opinion that industries can and must use recycled water for heating and cooling instead of the scarce, costly and fast dwindling potable water.
Reports say 216 wastewater treatment plants are operating in Iran with an annual output of 1.2 billion cubic meters of reclaimed wastewater.
Treated sewage mostly goes for agriculture (57%), and the rest is consumed in industries, urban green spaces and replenishment of surface waters and groundwater resources. Almost 70% of water consumed in households turns into sewage.