Workshop on River Bank Filtration in Egypt

On 11 and 12 March 2018, the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW) hosted a specialised workshop in Luxor entitled “River Bank Filtration (RBF) in Egypt: Current Status and Future Prospective” in cooperation with COSIMENA.

The workshop was put together by the HCWW with support of the DAAD and in presence of UN HABITAT, Coca-Cola and the companies affiliated with the HCWW across the country, discussing technology application and dissemination at the national level for the production of high-quality drinking water under the patronage of H.E. the Governor of Luxor. Dr. Thomas Grischek from Technische Universität Dresden, partaking in the workshop thanks to the support of COSIMENA, stated that, in the past eight years, natural filtration technology had witnessed a strong boost in Egypt and has overcome all the challenges that impede the implementation process. He added that RBF technology does not need any more research but depends on the skills of the geologists, chemists and engineers operating it. Therefore, capacity building and scientific teaching are vital to the success of the treatment plants.

Mamdouh Raslan, chairman of the HCWW, announced the completion of 61 units for the production of high-quality drinking water using the natural filtration technology for river banks in five governorates in Upper Egypt (Menya, Beni Suef, Qena, Sohag and Giza) producing over 1,000 cubic metres of clean water per day using low-cost German technology. He pointed out that the use of natural river bank filtration technology to produce clean drinking water required serious training, preliminary studies, site selection and studies on water levels, hence the need for international expertise in this field. However, he stressed that traditional filtration stations were still indispensable due to their great productivity. Therefore, increased efforts should be undertaken to identify ways to take advantage of filtration technology with a view to finding solutions for critical areas and providing additional water sources.

Rania Hedeya, UN Habitat Egypt Office Programme Manager, confirmed that in the course of the programme, ten natural filtration units had successfully been implemented in the Menya governorate and are currently operating efficiently. Some villages now already have access to high-quality drinking water.

Dr. Mohamed El Sayed Badr, Governor of Luxor, confirmed that drinking water services have developed significantly over the past years. The aim of the government is to improve network efficiency and to implement plans for the replacement, renovation and protection of water treatment plants. He added that the application of modern technologies in the production of clean drinking water and reuse of waste water are a necessity; studies and research should be directed towards them with a special focus on the preparation of cadres and specialised professionals via capacity building.

At the end of the workshop, chairmen of affiliated companies for water and wastewater of Menya, Beni Suef and Sohag demonstrated and presented case studies on RBF projects which have been applied in the respective governorates.

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