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Tehran’s sewage system nearly complete with construction of new tunnel

Photo published on the website of Tehran Province Water and Wastewater Company shows workers posing for a photo after a tunnel boring machine (TBM) ends drilling for a 10.5 kilometer sewer tunnels in western Tehran on January 14, 2021.

A major sewer tunnel has been built in Tehran as the Iranian megacity is nearing the end of a long journey to complete its integrated sewage system.

Local media reports on Thursday showed a tunnel boring machine (TBM) drilling through underground rocks to finish a 10.5 kilometer tunnel that would link a sewage network of 1,700 kilometers to a treatment facility located to the west of the Iranian capital.

The completion of the tunnel marked the end of all sewage construction works for western districts of Tehran which is home to nearly a fourth of the city’s population of nearly 10 million people.

Local authorities said the newly-opened part of the sewage network would be able to collect and treat some 190 million cubic meters of wastewater per year. The treated water would then be used to irrigate massive parks in Tehran where a network of 117 agricultural wells were previously used to water green spaces.

However, treated water will be available once a massive sewage treatment facility located in the Firouz Bahram region comes on line later this year. The facility will significantly boost sewage treatment capacity for Tehran, a city which lacked any proper sewage collection system three decades ago, as well as other cities and provinces located to the west of the capital.

“As of March when we start supplying the treated water, we will be able to save around 50 million cubic meters (a year) of underground water,” said Mohammad Reza Bakhtiari, the CEO of Tehran Province Water and Wastewater Company.

Iran’s Energy Ministry said on Thursday that some 90 percent of Tehran’s integrated sewage system, a network of 8,000 kilometers of underground tunnels and large sewage treatment facilities, has become operational. The costly scheme, which has enjoyed national and international funding support since it started in 1996, is expected to finish within the next two or three years.

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