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Jeddah sewage lake dry, says minister
Abdulaziz Ghazzawi
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 10 - 2010

JEDDAH: Jeddah's infamous Misk Lake has been emptied of its sewage water in a record time of only three months, Engineer Abdullah Al-Hussayen, Minister of Water and Electricity, announced Saturday.
The operation was expedited by an on-site treatment plant with a daily pumping capacity of 250,000 cubic meters, he added.
Over the last three months, the plant has pumped out more than 30,000 cubic meters of sewage water every day, Al-Hussayen said at a press conference in Jeddah organized by the National Water Company.
In May, King Abdullah, ordered the Ministry of Water and Electricity to dry up the lake within one year.
The minister confirmed that “not a single drop of untreated sewage water was pumped into the sea”. He said that all water that entered the sea had been through a three-stage treatment process that made it safe to be pumped into the sea.
The project to drain the lake cost SR120 million, said Loay Al-Musalam, director of the NWC.
Sewage sludge at the dried lake will be treated to protect the environment from pollution, he added.
Critics, who have long said the 18-meter-deep Misk Lake was a time bomb threatening the entire city if it burst, reiterated their concerns after last year's flood disaster that killed more than 120 people and damaged the eastern part of Jeddah.
A new sewage-dumping site being constructed in the Khumrah area, southwest of Jeddah, will have an on-site treatment plant fully operational by the end of 2011 with a daily pumping capacity of 250,000 cubic meters.
Sewage water treatment plants in Jeddah's districts of Ruwais, Balad, Khumrah, and Industrial Zone have a combined daily pumping capacity of 643,000 cubic meters, Al-Hussayen added.
The sewage network covering Jeddah will be completed in due time, by the first quarter of 2012, he said.
Work on the integrated sewage network in the central and northern parts of the city is 90 percent complete, work in the south is 50 percent complete and work in Abhor and other northern areas is 20 percent complete, he added.
At the press conference, Al-Hussayen also announced a SR245 million package of water and electricity service projects across the Kingdom.

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