EghtesadOnline: Expansion of the wastewater network has been a priority in the sprawling capital in recent years, but mismanagement and haphazard urban expansion has slowed and at times hampered the process.
Of the total 16 counties in Tehran Province, eight either lack wastewater plants and sewage network or the infrastructure is incomplete, ISNA reported.
Counties still without sewer systems include Qarchak, Varamin, Damavand and Firuzkuh and the network in Pakdasht, Eslamshahr, Shemshak and Baharestan counties has not been completed.
“If we really want a decent future for Tehran Province, it is essential to seal depleting water wells used by farmers and supply their needs with reclaimed wastewater,” Aziz Abdolzadeh, the head of Department of Environment in Varamin said.
Lack of a network to collect wastewater and transfer it to wastewater plants means that a part of crops grown around Tehran are fed by untreated sewage, he rued.
“Moreover, a foul smell in these counties is a problem the residents face for years,” he said, and added that in most countries infrastructure like sewage systems are set up first before satellite towns are built. In Iran it is the other way round.
“Pardis, a satellite town 20-km east of Tehran, was completed 10 years ago, but surprisingly due to lack of wastewater collection, the sewage pours into Jajroud River that flows into Mamlou Dam, one of the five dams that supplies drinking water to the 13 million population in Tehran.”
According to the official, Tehran Province Water and Wastewater Company has promised to start construction of nine wastewater treatment plants and sewage network in the counties next month. “This should have been done long ago”.
By the time such projects see the light of day, millions of liters of sewer will have gone to waste in a province that has been grappling with water shortages for at least three decades.
He warned that water wells in Tehran are in bad shape and the situation cannot improve with good rains in one or two years.
Groundwater surveys in the Varamin Plain, 40-km southeast of the capital, show the conditions have worsened and are creating serious concern among the people, conservationists, environmentalists and health experts.
The steep decline in groundwater levels is having devastating consequences. Excessive pumping is harming groundwater tables and stopping wells from reaching groundwater. When groundwater is overused, lakes, streams and rivers connected to groundwater also start diminishing.