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Seminar on “Waste water treatment and its reuse”

The Department of Microbiology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad in collaboration with the George Washington University, Washington DC, USA, organized a seminar “waste water treatment and its reuse” with an aim to create awareness about the efficient methods for the treatment of sewage and share the experiences of foreign expert and local scientists in the field of waste water treatment.

Addressing the inaugural session Prof. Dr. Masoom Yasinzai said that Water shortages and access to safe drinking water in developing countries has become serious issue and unfortunately Pakistan is not an exception. He said that according to a World Bank report, Pakistan is among 17 countries that may face severe water shortages by 2025. Per capita water availability has dropped dramatically over the past 60 years and could fall to less than 1000 cubic me-ters by 2012. Reuse of wastewater following proper treatment would be one option for reducing the water shortage.

“Quaid-i-Azam University has best productive scientists, scholars and students, but at the same time we also have a responsibility, we must realize that all our research must be targeted, providing solutions of our indigenous problems” he added. He urged the young scientists to go in to the society, identify the problems and solve them. He also appreciated the organizers for organizing seminar on such an important issue.

Chairperson Department of Microbiology Prof. Dr. Safia Ahmed in her detailed presentation briefed the audience about the Pak– US Project “Small Scale Sewage Treatment and Wastewater Reuse System for Pakistan. The objective of the project is to develop an efficient method for the treatment of sewage and reuse of wastewater and biosolids.

Dr. Safia said that her group at QAU has spent the past months conducting investigations on the three different wastewater treatment systems regarding evaluating and optimizing additional parameters, techniques and experimental setups. She said that initial lab-scale studies have proved that Constructed wetlands, Dual digestion system and Trickling filter system technologies can be treat domestic wastewater to such an extent that it can be used for irrigational purposes.

“Although results from the experiments were promising, further improvement needs to be made to make these treatment strategies perform efficiently at experimental sites selected for the treatment of domestic wastewater at Quaid-i-Azam University” she added.

Researchers at Department of Microbiology, QAU have spent the past one year conducting lab-scale trickling filter, constructed wetland, and dual digestion system experiments to determine the efficiency of various means of wastewater treatment and pathogen removal.