EghtesadOnline: The third phase of Urmia Wastewater Treatment Plant is near completion and is expected to be completed by 2021, managing director of West Azarbaijan Water and Wastewater Company said.
“Upon completion of this phase, 51 million cubic meters of treated wastewater will be pumped into Lake Urmia annually,” Mehr News Agency quoted Alireza Razavi as saying.
To be able to transfer standard effluent to the body of the lake, 11 kilometers of pipeline is required, of which 8 km has been laid, he said.
The two operating phases of the plant cover 400,000 people in the provincial capital and with completion of the third phase, 300,000 more people will benefit, Razavi noted, adding that the project is estimated to cost $3.2 million.
Two phases of the plant provide 38 mcm of treated sewage to the lake.
With the help of six other wastewater treatment plants in Boukan, Salmas, Miandoab, Mahabad, Naqadeh and Golmankhaneh, all in West Azarbaijan Province, approximately 70 mcm effluent enters the lake.
Transferring treated wastewater to the lake as a practical solution without harming the environmental is underway to increase the water level in the world famous lake that has been struggling with a huge water deficit for years and until recently was on the verge of drying up.
Guidelines for the Urmia Lake Restoration Project have tasked towns and cities in the vicinity to treat wastewater and supply it to the lake.
Located between the provinces of East and West Azarbaijan, Urmia Lake is a closed water body fed through 21 permanent and 39 seasonal rivers. Less than 20 years ago, the lake was Iran’s largest inland body of water.
However, it dried up due to a variety of factors, including the construction of a 15-km causeway to shorten travel time between Urmia and Tabriz cities and the construction of several dams that have choked off water supply from the mountains on either side of the lake.
Close to $1 billion has been spent on Urmia Lake Restoration Program in the last five years. Restorative measures taken so far to revive the lake include reducing the high water use by farmers and diverting water from rivers.
The lake now is 1,271.8 meters above sea level. This level is 1.32 meters higher compared to five years ago when restoration measures started. It spreads over 3,240 square kilometers, holding 5.25 billion cubic meters of water.