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Abu Dhabi Launches Wastewater Regulation Framework

Abu Dhabi Launches Region’s First Framework For Wastewater Regulation. Two regulations in place for responsible and efficient use of effluent water

| | Jul 30, 2010 | 12:01 pm
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Abu Dhabi Launches Region’s First Framework For Wastewater Regulation. Two regulations in place for responsible and efficient use of effluent water

The Regulation and Supervision Bureau (RSB), the independent regulatory body for the water, wastewater and electricity sector of Abu Dhabi, has announced the launch of two important new regulations – Trade Effluent Control Regulations 2010 and Recycled Water and Biosolids Regulations 2010. They came into effect from June 1, and concludes a three-year consultation process across the wastewater sector.

According to the RSB, the Trade Effluent Control Regulations govern all nondomestic discharges into the capital’s sewerage system. Under the new regulations, wastewater operating companies, including 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 RSB contends that, earlier 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. But this issue can be effectively addressed with the Trade Effluent Control Regulations in place.

Similarly, the Recycled Water and Biosolids Regulations 2010, has been introduced to ensure, for the first time, the standards of treated wastewater in Abu Dhabi. The RSB claims that these standards will maximise the opportunity to reuse products in environmentally beneficial ways, as recycled water and biosolids are the treated products of the wastewater treatment process, and a valuable resource for meeting Abu Dhabi’s sustainable development goals.

As per the regulation, 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. According to the RSB, the increase can provide useful material for soil improvement and help reduce demand for energy-intensive desalination.

Following the launch of the two regulations, the RSB stated that it will draw up compliance programmes with all relevant licensees to ensure they conform to the regulations within the appropriate timeframe.

The RSB has revealed the following regulation consultation timetable and key objectives to elucidate how the regulation process was achieved:

  • September 2007: Initiation meeting with ADSSC, EAD, the Abu Dhabi Municipality Parks and Recreational Facilities Department
  • June-July 2008: The first public consultation to establish need for regulation: 10 documents issued, plus press notice. Received 12 detailed responses
  • December 2008-May 2009: Regulatory Impact Assessment carried out by independent consultants
  • April-May 2009: The second public consultation – consultation on draft regulations; 20 hard copies issued to licensees and government agencies. Range of e-mails sent; consultation advertised on website. Received 25 detailed responses
  • March-April 2010: The final consultation on draft regulations and guidance documents – targeting licensees and key stakeholders; 19 formal responses sent and posted on website. Received 13 formal responses
  • March 2010: Consultation Workshop conducted with 37 attendees plus 10 bureau representatives
  • 1 June 2010: Launch of regulations

Regulation and Supervision Bureau timeline:

  • Established in 1999 to ensure the safe, reliable and efficient delivery of power, water and wastewater services in Abu Dhabi
  • Consults closely and continuously with companies operating in these sectors to control prices, issue regulations and ensures compliance and investigates any health or safety incidents

Key objectives:

  • To ensure that future capacity and product availability match customer demand and meets the 2030 Government Strategic Vision
  • To promote optimal utilisation of water, wastewater and electricity
  • To minimise unit costs at all levels
  • To ensure that quality-ofservice standards are met at all times
  • To promote health and safety standards involving all stakeholders
  • To minimise environmental impact from the activities of the sector

In the context of announcing the regulations, Nick Carter, Director General of the RSB, said: “These two regulations are among the most important the Bureau has issued since we were established, over 10 years ago. As the emirate continues with its ambitious plans for growth, these regulations mark a key milestone in the supply of wastewater products. Under the governance of a panel drawn from experts within the sector and from licencees, Abu Dhabi now has a mechanism in place to ensure the highest international standards of recycled water and biosolids. This is helped, in part, by a check for the first time on what businesses are putting into the sewerage system.”

Dubbing the consultation process long and thorough, Carter added: “I would like to thank all those who have contributed towards making these regulations as relevant and workable as possible. With input from such a broad range of interested parties, we have strong support from within the sector for the new legal framework. We look forward to working closely with all wastewater licencees, to ensure effective compliance.”


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One comment on “Abu Dhabi Launches Wastewater Regulation Framework”

  1. Varghese Joseph says:

    Dear Sir,

    Can anyone your department adise safety regulation about the Sewerage Treatment Plant.

    Best regards,

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