A project “Small Scale Sewage Treatment and Wastewater Reuse System for Pakistan” funded by HEC and USAID was inaugurated at Quaid-i-Azam University here on Thursday. Under the project a large scale wetland was constructed to treat the water of residential colonies of the University. Treated water will be used to irrigate plants on the site. The results indicated water after treatment fulfills all the parameters for National Standard for water fit for agriculture. This facility will be used for research purpose and the model now can be replicated at different sites for local treatments.
This project was carried out under Pakistan-US Science and technology Cooperation Program in collaborations with George Washington University, with an aim to promote the collaborative efforts of researchers from both institutions to improve the quality and capacity of research and education at QAU in the water and sanitation area.
Dr. Safia Ahmed and her group at QAU have spent the last 3 years conducting investigations on the three different wastewater treatment systems regarding evaluating and optimizing additional parameters, techniques and experimental setups. These studies focus on development of a small scale wastewater treatment process, by methods that are reliable and cost-effective for a developing country like Pakistan. In this regard three systems were designed and tested at lab scale. These include dual digestion process, trickling filters, and constructed wetlands.
QAU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Eatzaz Ahmad in his speech appreciated the collaborative effort and hoped that this research would result in a technology that will contribute to improve public health. He said that according to a World Bank report, Pakistan is among 17 countries that may face severe water shortages by 2025 while per capita water availability has dropped dramatically over the past 60 years. In this situation reuse of wastewater following proper treatment would be an option for reducing the water shortage.
Dr. Safia Ahmed in her detailed presentation highlighted different aspects of the project. She said that research at Department of Microbiology has been focused for past three years in conducting the lab-scale as well as large scale experiments to determine the efficiency of various means of wastewater treatment and pathogen removal like tricking filter. She said that project addresses two basic problems—improper sewage disposal and water scarcity—with the overall objective being to develop an efficient method for the treatment of sewage and reuse of wastewater and bio-solids.
Dr. Safia said that initial lab-scale studies have proved that Constructed wetlands, Dual digestion system and Trickling filter system technologies can be to treat domestic wastewater resulting in the improvement of various microbiological and physico-chemical parameters to such an extent that treated water can be used for irrigational purposes.
Earlier Dr. Fariha Hasan Chairperson, Department of Microbiology, Quaid-i-Azam University formally welcomed the guests and students. Dean Faculty of Biological Sciences, Prof. Dr. Asghri Bano, Member Engineering, CDA, Mr. Shahid Sohail, senior faculty members and a large number of students attended the ceremony.