Proposals for addressing environment, health pollution caused by cesspit revealed by Amman mayor

By Hana Namrouqa – Jul 25,2018

AMMAN — The technical committee tasked with putting forward proposals for addressing the environment and health pollution caused by Rusaifeh’s so-called “Pepsi pool” recommended micro-tunneling as the method to drain the pool’s wastewater into Zarqa River.

Under the selected construction method, the two-kilometre-long pipeline will transfer the pool’s water to the Zarqa River relying on natural flow and using micro-tunneling method to address the difference between altitudes through which the pipeline will be extended.

Amman Mayor Yousef Shawarbeh on Wednesday shared results of the technical committee’s one-week work during a press conference.

“The selected option’s cost is JD6 million, while construction of the pipeline would take 15 months to be completed,” Shawarbeh told members of the press.

Construction on the pipeline will commence once a geophysical study is implemented to survey the territories through which the pipeline will pass, according to Shawarbeh, who noted that the area’s topography necessitates the implementation of such a study to decide whether the project would succeed or not.

The proposal also entails covering the pool with soil and turning it into a playgroud or a park, according to Shawarbeh.

The infamous “Pepsi pool”, a cesspit which sits in the heart of a populated and industrialised area east of Ruseifa, is known to be highly contaminated with industrial and domestic wastewater.

Residents of the area around the “Pepsi pool” suffer from foul odours, mosquitoes and insects due to the stagnant water in the pool, which has accumulated as a result of sewage, household connections, water leaking from factories and rainwater.

Industrial dumping, mainly by the mineral and soft drink industries, and wastewater leaked from residential areas created a dangerous situation. During winter, rainfall would often cause the pit to overflow into the surrounding residential area, increasing the hazard to citizens and workers.

The technical committee was formed upon instructions from Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, who visited the site on July 17 to put an end to one of Jordan’s longstanding environment hotspot.

During his visit to the site, Razzaz said: “We are aware that the people of the area have been impatiently waiting for a solution to this problem, which has been a health concern over the past years, and the government is committed and will be held accountable for its treatment in the near future.”

Razzaz entrusted the GAM with supervising the effort and instructed that proposals for ending the problem once and for all should be submitted within a week.

The Pepsi pool, which acquired its name due to its proximity to the Pepsi Company and the fact that the company used to dispose of its discharged operations water into the pool, has been a source of health and environment pollution for area residents over the past three decades.

It is located on a 200-dunum tract of land that is owned by the Greater Amman Municipality, but, the pool’s surface stretches over 33 dunnums, according to Shawarbeh.

The mayor underscored that temporary measures were implemented over the past week, during which the technical committee was studying the location and previous studies to come up with a long-term solution for the problem.

Such temporary measures entailed spraying the area with pesticides and also draining the pool, which receives floodwater during the rainy season as well as sewage from properties that illegally link its sewage network to the drainage system, Shawarbeh said.