Crying foul over sewage trucks

The sucking out of sewage water from the septic tanks of many buildings in Sharjah and Ajman by tanker trucks operated by some private sewage companies is creating a host of negative environmental problems and posing a serious health hazard, say residents of the two emirates.


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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Published: Sat 15 May 2004, 9:52 AM

Last updated: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 11:52 AM

The trucks, which do their daily rounds of sucking up the accumulated, foul-smelling liquid waste and domestic sewerage from septic tanks often spill some of the contents on their way to the landfills. The leakage from these tanks in residential areas, causes stench and attracts flies and insects.

The sound rumble as the tanks draw near homes and sound of the suction made hurts the ears and tenants, despite objections, have been forced to live with the noise pollution and the stench despite the many objections raised.

Speaking to Khaleej Times Nazzar Abdullah, a resident of Al Butainah in Sharjah, said that the suction of liquid wastes creates an intolerable stench in the vicinity of the site, causing severe inconvenience. The leaking tanks dripping foul-smelling, poisonous waste contaminate the area. This is unhygienic and affects the health of children.

Hiba Faisal, a resident of Al Jarf in Ajman, said that the apartment block he resides in is yet to be connected to the sewerage system provided by Ajman Sewerage Company.

"Some of the landlords are not concerned with public health and the preservation of the environment in this area, a large number of people are affected by this mess," he says, the disgust clearly showing in the voice.

Khalid Al Hassan from Ajman said that the personnel who work on these vehicles are not performing their jobs in the proper manner and this results in spillage, which poses a hazard to public health, as many people are being exposed to high levels of contamination. The stink the spilled domestic waste raises is simply unbearable, "he added.

Dr. Zain Al Abdeen Marzouq, Director of Water and Environment Institute of Ajman University, said that domestic sewage refers to wastewater that is discarded from households such as kitchen, bathrooms, showers, laundry and sink. "Eventually, it is a hazard to public health and environments cannot escape the effects of pollution".

He added that the sewage water attracts a lot of flies, misquotes, and other insects which play great role in transmission of diseases. Many infectious diseases like diarrhoea and viral hepatitis are associated with deterioration of environment, a result of waste-water containing disease causing microbes.

"Outbreaks of typhoid fever in many areas is also attributed to the deterioration of environment and lack of sanitation," he noted.

Dr Marzouq said that the only solution for this problem is to adopt the water treatment system, which is available through the Ajman Sewerage Project. This project will enhance efficiency of the sewerage services and collection of sewage through a sewer network pipeline which will protect the health of residents.

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