Management and Disposal of Municipal Wastewater in Lusaka city,Zambia
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Every form of water use results in production of wastewater. The wastewater is characterised by a number of substances which are usually added to it during the process of use. These substances must be removed from the water before returning it back to the environment. The pathogenic nature of wastewater demands that it should be adequately treated and disposed so that it does not become an environmental and public health hazard. This study investigated how municipal wastewater is managed and disposed in Lusaka City. The city has been experiencing growth in size and population since independence. The population has increased from 2,433 in 1931 to 1,742,979 in 2010. This growth has however not been matched with significant improvements in the management of wastewater. The treatment plants are old and operating beyond their design capacities with some plants receiving sewage over twice their capacity. The total capacity for all the municipal wastewater treatment plants is 55,050mVday but these plants receive effluent which is over twice this capacity. The wastewater is inadequately treated and does not the standards. The BOD is often above 50mg/l for example. Wastewater management has been neglected as many policies are inclined towards water provision and solid waste management. Population statistics show that the population of Lusaka is ever increasing indicating that wastewater generation is increasing. By 1980, all wastewater treatment plants had been constructed and were in goo condition. They were serving a population of 535,830. These plants have never been rehabilitated or expanded and are now (2010) serving a population of 1,742,979. While the population is increasing and increased water supply is being advocated for, the state of the wastewater treatment plants keeps on worsening because there is neither expansion nor rehabilitation of these existing plants. There has been no construction of new treatment plants. There is therefore urgent need to address this matter as this is not only a public health threat but it is also an environmental hazard.
- Natural Sciences