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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Not just a pipe dream: RAK residents hail new Dh25m sewerage network

Project will move community into the '21st century' as hazardous septic tanks are replaced

The Dh25m sewerage network will be fully complete by the end of the year and is already boosting the lives of residents and traders. Reem Mohammed/The National
The Dh25m sewerage network will be fully complete by the end of the year and is already boosting the lives of residents and traders. Reem Mohammed/The National

Relieved residents and traders say they have "finally entered the 21st century" as a new Dh25m sewerage network nears completion.

Foul odours, insects and waste water have long plagued the community in the Al Mairid area of the emirate.

But hazardous septic tanks are now being replaced with a modern sewerage system, lifting a 'great weight' off the shoulders of those who live and work in the area.

The project started towards the end of 2017 and 80 percent of the new network - which will serve 565 residences and businesses - is to be operating fully soon.

The scheme will be fully completed by the end of the year.

The  modern sewerage system will serve hundreds of businesses and homes. Reem Mohammed/The National
The  modern sewerage system will serve hundreds of businesses and homes. Reem Mohammed/The National

“We have finally entered the 21st century,” said Saeed Ali, a 43-year-old Emirati, who owns a two-store villa in Al Mairid.

“A great weight has been lifted off my shoulders, worrying all the time about the septic tank and the bad smells associated with the process of emptying. The process itself was not pleasant,” said Mr Ali.

“I’m glad and thankful for all of the efforts made to make our lives easier and we are proud that the government continues to carry out projects to upgrade the area and we offer them all our support,” said Mr Ali.

Another resident said that the insulation of the sewerage connection only took about ten days and will offer a great relief from odours and insects.

“I always worry about the tank, if it’s full or not or needs to be emptied or not yet, whether I can still use water to clean the house or will the tank will overflow?

“All of these issues were our regular concerns along with foul odours and insects attracted by the waste tank,” said Amna Rashid, an Emirati mother-of-five living in a villa.

Labourers are hard at work with the sewerage network on pace for completion before the end of 2018. Reem Mohammed/The National
Labourers are hard at work with the sewerage network on pace for completion before the end of 2018. Reem Mohammed/The National

“It’s one of the essentials that every residential unit must have and we are glad that we will finally have a proper sewerage network,” she said.

An Egyptian laundry manager said that the sewage pipes can be seen in front of the shop but they don’t have a connection yet.

He is eagerly awaiting the day sewerage network is fully operational.

“They didn’t start digging yet, although the pipes have been visible in front of the shop for almost a year,” said Ashraf Saqir, manager of Al Reesha Al Baydaa laundry in Al Mairid.

“We can’t wash clothes in the shop as we are not connected with the wastewater network yet. We can’t even rinse the floor with water. We only use a mop as per the landlord instructions,” he said

Mr Saqir said that the landlord empties the septic tank every 15 days and any extra water usage can cost more money.

Ashraf Saqr, who works at Al Reesha Al Baydaa Laundry, says costs will be greatly reduced by the scheme. Reem Mohammed/The National
Ashraf Saqr, who works at Al Reesha Al Baydaa Laundry, says costs will be greatly reduced by the scheme. Reem Mohammed/The National

“I send the clothes to another place in order to be washed and that costs us more money and adds extra charges on the customers, but having a sewerage network would save us up to 50 per cent of the cost and will help us offer faster services with fewer charges,” he said.

"So our customers can pay only Dh5 for a piece of clothing instead of Dh10," he said.

Ahmed Al Hammadi, Director General of RAK Services Department, said that the project aims to improve people’s quality of life, reduce the environmental impact and health risks associated with the septic tanks.

“The project will contribute effectively in keeping the groundwater safe from any pollution that might accrue from an accidental septic tank leakage, preserves the environment and reduce any health risks associated with the existence of the tanks and limit the public exposure to toxic gases and foul odours,” said Al Hammadi.

“It will also reduce the tankers traffic on the roads and improve people’s quality of life,” he said.

The emirate announced the opening of six new recycling plants last April in a bid to increase recycling levels from 14 per cent to 75 per cent by 2021.

The RAK Waste Management Agency launched the six recycling locations to help divert more of its waste away from landfill.

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