Abu Dhabi's wastewater project STEPs closer to completion

One of the region’s biggest wastewater engineering projects in Abu Dhabi is nearing completion and inspiring other projects in neighbouring Dubai and further afield in Saudi Arabia...

Jan 25th, 2016
Content Dam Ww Online Articles 2016 01 25   Alan Thomson

One of the region’s biggest wastewater engineering feats in Abu Dhabi is nearing completion and inspiring other projects in neighbouring Dubai and further afield in Saudi Arabia.

The Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC) is reaching the final stages of its Strategic Tunnel Enhancement Programme (STEP).

Costing $1.9 billion and started in 2008, the project includes a 41-kilometre long sewer tunnel and also 43 km of smaller diameter new link sewers (watch video interview).

Tripling Abu Dhabi’s sewerage network, the system will provide for an average wastewater flow of 800,000 m3/day, with an ultimate capacity of 1.7 million m3/day by 2030.

Speaking to WWi magazine on the side-lines of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, Alan Thomson, managing director of ADSSC, said: “The link sewers are 95% complete. We are completing the last leg to connect Reem Island onto STEP. All that should be finished by November.”

Another part of the Abu Dhabi project is a large pumping station at Al Wathba.

Thomson added: “The pumping station under construction is now 70% complete and we are scheduling commission to start in the middle of the year (2016). All going well we will continue with that commissioning and decommission of the pumping stations over the next two years.”

Consultancy CH2M, which was responsible for the first stage of Singapore’s Deep Tunnel Sewerage Project (read article), has overseen the delivery of STEP.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, Qatar is embarking on its Inner Doha Re-sewerage Implementation Strategy (IDRIS), costing US$2.7 billion. This includes more than 40 km of deep main trunk sewer and over 70 km of lateral interceptor sewers.

ADSSC’s managing director added that STEP is attracting a lot of international interest and that “Dubai is thinking of a STEP type program and Saudi Arabia is looking at it as well”.

It was in 2014 when Abu Dhabi set out ambitious goals to reuse 100% of its wastewater for irrigation purposes by 2018.

Thomon said ADSSC is in discussion with the local distribution companies about the responsibility for the cleaned up wastewater.

He said: “Reuse is an interesting one. We are involved with the other key players who are the distribution companies and municipalities. We are working towards that recycled water coming under one ownership, which will make life easier. It’s likely not to be ADSSC but it will be transferred across to the distribution companies.”

Regardless of the distribution, ADSSC will still hold responsibility for the collection and treatment of the wastewater.

He said the application for the reused water would be general irrigation, such as “parks and golf courses”.

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Read/Watch more

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Abu Dhabi STEPs up wastewater treatment

VIDEO INTERVIEW: DTSS2: Singapore’s next deep tunnel

Singapore’s DTSS Phase II: Five key facts you need to know

Digging deep in Singapore: Getting ready for DTSS Phase II

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