Abu Dhabi launches wastewater regulation

Regulation is first comprehensive framework in region, says RSB.

Wastewater disposal in Abu Dhabi is now subject to regulation.
Wastewater disposal in Abu Dhabi is now subject to regulation.

Two important new regulations on wastewater disposal and recycling were announced by the Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB), the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater and electricity sector of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday.

“These two regulations are among the most important the Bureau has issued since we were established over ten years ago. As the emirate continues with its ambitious plans for growth these regulations mark a key milestone in the supply of wastewater products,” said Nick Carter, director general at the RSB

The first set of regulation, the Trade Effluent Control Regulations, govern all non-domestic discharges into the emirate’s sewerage system. Previously, there were no formal controls over what businesses were allowed to discharge. This posed a risk to the wastewater treatment system and to the environment.

Under the new regulations, wastewater operating companies, such as ADSSC and ZonesCorp, are empowered to require companies to obtain consent for their wastewater before discharging it into the sewerage system. Sewerage services companies are also required to maintain trade effluent registers recording the activities of organisations discharging wastewater into the system.

The second set of regulations, the Recycled Water and Biosolids Regulations, ensure for the first time the standards of treated wastewater in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. Recycled water and biosolids are the treated products of the wastewater treatment process and a valuable resource for meeting the emirate’s sustainable development goals, says the RSB. These standards will maximise the opportunity to reuse products in environmentally beneficial ways.

Sewerage services companies are now required to guarantee the quality of the wastewater delivered to users. This quality assurance will increase the use of recycled water and biosolids. The increase can provide a useful material for soil improvement and help to reduce demand for energy-intensive desalination.

Following the launch of the two regulations the RSB will agree compliance programmes with all relevant licencees to ensure they conform to the regulations within the appropriate timeframe.



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