Work in progress

Haya Water is hopeful of providing sewerage connection in Al Ghubra area this year

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The Muscat Wastewater scheme is gaining momentum with sewerage collection networks at different places in Bausher wilayat nearing completion. The authorities are confident of offering sewerage connection in the area before the end of the year. A major treatment plant is getting ready, while work is progressing in several areas of Seeb.

Hopefully, we will provide sewerage connection in Al Ghubra area this year. We are concentrating on Bausher wilayat initially," says Omar Khalfan al Wohaibi, CEO, Haya Water (earlier known as Oman Wastewater Services Company). Due to the sheer size of the project, the scheme has been divided into several sub-projects.

The 300km-long Bausher project will connect 17,000-18,000 buildings in areas like Madinat as Sultan Qaboos, Al Khuwayr, Al Ghubra and Azaiba.

While the main sewerage network system in Bausher is being built by China's Sino Hydro Corporation, the sewerage treatment plant (STP) is being built by Galfar Engineering & Contracting and is 96 per cent complete.

In developing a comprehensive network for the whole of Muscat governorate, separate schemes have been planned for each wilayat - Bausher, Seeb, Greater Muttrah, Amerat and Quriyat.

Haya Water has undertaken major initiatives for developing the second comprehensive sewerage network covering 507km in the Seeb area.

The scheme, which will be ready by the end of 2010 or beginning of 2011, will provide sewage disposal connection to 46,000 households in that area. "We are building an STP, a main collection centre and networks in Ma'abela and the coastal areas of Seeb. Most of our projects are under construction in Seeb."

In Greater Muttrah wilayat, Haya Water has divided the scheme into two separate contracts. While the company is expected to award a tender for design consultancy for Muttrah and Muscat, a construction contract will be awarded for the second area soon. In Amerat, NJS Consultants has started a preliminary design work, while the Quriyat scheme is still at the pre-concept stage.

The Muscat Wastewater project will replace the outdated septic tank system and connect 200,000 buildings, representing 80 per cent of the properties in Muscat to a sewerage network by 2014. The estimated cost of the entire project in Muscat governorate is RO1.5bn.

"Of this, RO400-450mn has already been committed. So far, we have completed projects worth RO100mn." The state-owned utility firm has several challenges ahead of it while proceeding with the implementation of a state-of-the-art network. "The biggest challenge is related to building a sewerage network in an already developed city," says al Wohaibi.

There are several technical challenges as well, mainly on account of the typical topography of the country. "We have to carry out deep excavations as collection networks need to be 18m below the ground."

Micro tunnelling technology is being used for deep excavation in places with limited space. "The high water table in coastal areas calls for more innovative solutions like the one we are using in Seeb. Here, we use a vacuum system instead of the normal gravity system for collecting sewage water."

The company has recently introduced treated water under the brand name of Haya. Al Wohaibi says that his company is aiming at building six major STPs.

"Two of them - Al Ansab and Seeb - are under construction and a third one for Darsait will be tendered this year." Haya Water is expected to produce around 100,000 cubic meters of treated water by 2014 (when all the STPs become functional) as against 55,000 cubic meters of water now.

While Muscat Municipality is always the biggest customer of treated water, other potential users include golf courses and resorts."

Work in progress
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