UOB Wastewater Treatment Pilot Plant
The UOB Pilot Treatment Plant is located within the Balamand Campus of the University at its northern end and lowest elevation. The selection of this site by the University was in line with the Master Plan, ensuring a downward-inclining location away from existing buildings and facilities. A program of visits or “field days visits” is organized for members of the community, including staff from Municipalities, Ministries and NGO’s, together with some engineers, technicians, trainees and students. A primary task is to educate the community about the need for and importance of sewage treatment, as well as the adoption of environmentally-sound practices of recycling such as the re-use of effluent in irrigation. The essential aim of this Pilot Treatment Plant is to develop public awareness, leading to people’s acceptance of sewage treatment and the beneficial recycling of effluent and sludge.
The undeniable importance and inevitability of sewage treatment is now common knowledge among those responsible, with the result that towns, villages, and Municipalities are currently planning or beginning to implement its adoption. These programs, combined with visits made by interested parties to our Pilot Plant, will help to educate the public generally about the vital need to convert dangerous effluent into a liquid which, when used to irrigate the land, is positively beneficial.
For us at the University, the prime duty is the presentation of laboratory analytical data produced regularly on samples collected from the Treatment Plant, since theoretical knowledge needs always to be scientifically corroborated by analytical data. To this end, a monitoring program has been initiated to generate data on specific parameters that indicate the progress of the treatment process. The treatment process is being carried out in a series of tests conducted on influent and effluent water samples collected. The efficiency of the Plant and its operations and the precision of our measurements are verified by comparison with standard values set by the Lebanese Ministry of Environment (MOE) to check the accuracy of all analytical data produced. Also, the treated effluent is being used for irrigation on the UOB Campus. The areas thus irrigated have displayed good growth when compared with irrigation using University well water.
The plant has been in operation since December 2007. By the time the visits to our Treatment Plant have taken place, it is hoped that the experimental field will be already under cultivation to demonstrate the beneficial recycling of the effluent in crop production. It is necessary to give physical evidence of the final benefits accruing from the whole treatment and irrigation process.