Keywords: Gaza strip, Palestine, heavy metals, sludge, quality, quantity, wastewater treatment, municipal wastewaters
Assessment of existing and future sewage sludge characterisation in the Gaza Strip, Palestine
The three wastewater treatment plants in Gaza Strip, Palestine, rely on old technologies that have proved to be unable to solve the existing problems. Sludge management is not currently considered in detail in Palestine and the area will face challenges of sludge management in the near future after the construction of ongoing and planned projects in the Gaza Strip. The paper focuses on the determination of the quantity and quality of existing and future sludge in the Gaza Strip based on the available literature, current and planned wastewater treatment systems, present population data, and future population forecasts for the Gaza Strip. Sludge currently generated in the Gaza Strip is difficult to quantify. No measurements are taken and there are no previous estimates of sludge quantities. Estimates suggest that around 400 m3 of sludge is produced daily from the secondary treatment facility in the Gaza treatment plant. The analyses show that sludge is almost free of heavy metals and rich in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The quantities of sludge estimated by the year 2025 in all Gaza Strip are 55.74 thousand kilograms of dry solids daily. The sludge is expected to consist of 1–2% dry solids which mean that 3,716 m3 of sludge will be generated daily in the Gaza Strip by the year 2025. These quantities will be a real challenge for the local authorities.