The problems of sewerage in the residential settlements in Armenia, the consequences of the lack of protection of water resources were presented by Founding Director of "JINJ" LLC Eduard Mesropyan in the course of the expert roundtable on "Security of Water Resources in Armenia under the Climate Forecast Scenario" held at EcoLur Press Club on March 30, 2021.
Eduard Mesropyan noted that there is no function of protection of water resources in Armenia. "It is not in the charter of the Environment Ministry. There is no subdivision (department, unit) in the ministry that will deal with the protection of Armenia's water resources," he said.
According to Eduard Mesropyan, the lack of protection of water resources is evidenced by the fact that today we have the problem of determining the allowable amount of water at the time of issuing water use permits (WPs), because when providing WPs, the capacity of the water source is not assessed - its yield and seasonal fluctuations.
“We have no control over the demand for wastewater treatment, especially industrial wastewater. Our control is very weak, which also speaks about the lack of water protection function," the speaker said.
"The body in charge of for the protection of water resources must study, inventory, assess the surface-groundwater resources of the country, and even in the forecasts determine the amount of water resources that could be given for use," he said.
According to Eduard Mesropyan, the decrease in humidity in alpine meadows leads to desertification as a result of improper management of water resources and due to the violation of river ecosystems. "Instead of adapting to climate change, we are promoting climate change. "There is no body that will regulate the permissible flow of water from springs, while maintaining the stability of the ecosystem," he said.
Touching upon the situation in the field of drainage in the republic, Eduard Mesropyan noted that there are 5 stations for mechanical treatment of municipal wastewater in Gavar, Martuni, Vardenis, Jermuk and Dilijan. Yerevan Aeration Treatment Plant has been built but has not yet been put into operation. "Preliminary designs for 2 new municipal wastewater treatment plants have been developed (Sevan and Metsamor), the reconstruction of Parakar wastewater treatment plant (with hybrid technology) is being completed and Vardenik community wastewater treatment plant (with deep removal of nitrogen-phosphorus) has been developed.” he said.
Touching upon Yerevan Aeration Treatment Plant, Eduard Mesropyan noted that it is currently mechanical, but the second stage will also include a biological treatment process. Eduard Mesropyan also mentioned that the water supply and drainage systems operating in the capital, in their turn, were not intended for the current high-density residential construction. "In many cases, the previously functioning separate drainage systems are connected to the existing drainage system. As a result, during the rains, we have clogged sewage pipelines and anti-sanitary conditions," he said.
"A number of settlements that do not have drainage systems are located in the feeding zones of the underground pools from which the water is used for drinking and domestic purposes. Many of the settlements in the groundwater supply zone are without sewerage, and the population uses self-constructed water-permeable wells, unimproved individual toilets, which pose a direct threat to groundwater sources. Untreated wastewater is often used for irrigation without controlling health risks.
We still do not have an irrigation water quality standard, and if we develop it, we will not be able to provide it,” Eduard Mesropyan said. According to the speaker, the problem is the lack of local wastewater treatment plants in recreation areas, such as rest homes, restaurants and hotels.
According to the calculations made by "JINJ" LLC, the construction of cleaning stations in such holiday homes is quite affordable. "The cost of repurchasing the treatment plant for 3 to 5 years for an average vacationer is 75-100 AMD per day, which is quite affordable," Eduard Mesropyan said.
The problem of wastewater treatment plants is also present along the entire shore of Lake Sanaa, where they are absent. "We have deep wells in all recreation areas. "Some zones have septic treatment points that can only be used as an intermediate, storage facility, but not as a treatment facility," he said.
The problem of wastewater treatment plants is also present along the entire shore of Lake Sevan, where they are absent. "We have deep wells in all recreation areas. Some zones have septic treatment points that can only be used as an intermediate, storage facility, but not as a treatment facility," he said. According to the speaker, the lack of irrigation and technical water standards, in their turn, do not contribute to the targeted reuse of treated wastewater. According to him, in that context, wastewater should be considered not as a waste, but as a water resource.
Eduard Mesropyan noted that according to preliminary calculations, an investment equivalent to about 2.6 billion euros will be required for the disposal and treatment of wastewater in all residential settlements of Armenia. According to him, the current situation will deepen in the coming years in the absence of serious investments, with the collapse of existing systems, even more investments will be required.
Speaking about the problems of sewage disposal and treatment of industrial enterprises, Eduard Mesropyan mentioned that he had recently been informed about a previous resolution of the Armenian government, according to which it is allowed to pour industrial wastewater into deep wells. Implementation of that resolution must be stopped as soon as possible," he mentioned.
April 19, 2021 at 17:50