x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ajman water quality to improve with two new plants

A new facility is expected to improve the quality of Ajman's drinking water when it begins operations later this year.

AJMAN // The quality of tap water in the emirate will improve when a plant in Al Zawra begins operations this year, a spokesman for the federal utilities authority says.

The first two phases of the project, scheduled for this year, will have a capacity of almost 38 megalitres (Ml) of water a day.

When fully completed the plant will have twice that capacity, according to Mohammed Lutfi, the manager of operations and maintenance at the supply directorate of the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (Fewa).

Mr Lutfi said he was surprised by the results of The National's water testing in Ajman, and that the water was usually closer to the parameters set by international and local bodies.

The test found the most common mineral in the water was chloride, of which there was more than three times the recommended limit.

The emirate relies on two desalination plants for processing seawater, Mr Lutfi said.

One of the plants uses a technology called reverse osmosis, in which seawater is pressurised and put through a series of membranes that collect the minerals dissolved in the water.

The plant has a capacity of up to 22Ml of potable water a day.

Another desalination plant uses what experts call multi-effect distillation, in which seawater is heated and potable water produced from the steam.

This plant produces up to 34Ml of drinkable water a day.

The emirate also relies on water from groundwater wells. About 12Ml a day is produced from desalinating well water, while up to 34Ml of water a day comes directly from the wells.

"When one of our desalination plants stops, we have to compensate the water by adding more brackish water," Mr Lutfi said.

"Any maintenance work or plant shutdown will oblige us to use more brackish water from the wells."

vtodorova@thenational.ae

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