By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – The Madaba Wastewater Treatment Plant will witness a 40 per cent reduction in energy consumption and improved environmental conditions as part of a pilot project finalised on Sunday.

Under an agreement signed yesterday, the treatment of wastewater at the plant will be improved by using technologies that will be applied in Jordan for the first time, according to water officials and experts.

The Ministry of Water and Irrigation signed the agreement with a private sector alliance comprising Engicon, a local engineering consultation company, and Huber Technology Incorporation, a Germany-based company for wastewater solutions.

The Madaba Wastewater Treatment Plant lacks adequate facilities for dewatering sludge, which necessitates transporting sludge from Madaba to the Khirbet Al Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant in Amman, Minister of Water and Irrigation Mohammad Najjar said at yesterday’s signing ceremony.

“Energy consumption will be cut down at the plant and an estimated JD60,000 spent annually on transporting sludge from Madaba to Amman using 2,000 tankers will be saved after the project starts dewatering sludge at the facility,” he noted.

If it proves successful, the pilot project will be implemented in four other wastewater treatment plants in Salt, Fuheis, Baqaa and Abu Nuseir, the minister noted, highlighting that savings from the four plants will amount to JD500,000.

The 400,000 euro pilot project, slated for completion in 2013, will be jointly funded by the German Agency for International Cooperation and the private sector under the Public Private Partnership initiative.

Najjar underscored that the environmental conditions at the Madaba treatment plant will be improved after applying the new system, noting that sludge dewatering pools emit foul odours and attract insects during summer.

Bassem Tulfah, director of the programme management unit at the Water Authority of Jordan, said the plant treats 8,500 cubic metres of wastewater daily, noting that the treated water is used for irrigating fodder crops around the plant.