Wastewater Treatment and Current Sludge Management Practices in Pogradeci Region

ANILA KALA1, ODETA TOTA2, TATJANA DISHNICA3

1PhD student, Department of Agroenvironment and Ecology, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania

2European University of Tirana, Albania

3Department of Agroenvironment and Ecology, Agricultural University of Tirana, Albania

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Abstract

Sludge management strategies need to be developed for each wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to identify sustainable and cost-effective outlets, and in general, agriculture is likely to be the main beneficiary in Albania, if properly developed. This requires wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to be designed to produce sludge of an appropriate quality that most readily secures beneficial use on land. Consequently, sludge management strategies should be an integral component of the initial wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) design selection process to ensure an appropriate balance is achieved between affordable wastewater and sludge treatment and securing outlets for the sludge. Sludge is a novel product in Albania as so far, the only experience of using sludge on land is in Kavaja. While the purpose of this study is to develop practicable and sustainable sludge management strategies for Pogradec, Korca and Kavaja, it is inevitable that the study has to address issues and concepts that have not yet been considered in Albania but need to be, urgently, in view of rapid increase in the quantities of sludge expected in the near future. The coverage of potable water and sanitation services compares unfavorably with othercountries in Europe although the situation is gradually improving through the active support of international donors and the necessary legal and institutions reforms for accession to the EU. Albania initiated a decentralization process in 2000 in which administrative, political and fiscal tasks, competences and resources were transferred to the municipalities and communes. In the water and sanitation sector, this resulted in the creation of 55 Water and Sewerage Enterprises (UKs) and their progressive conversion into commercial companies,the shareholders of which are the municipalities and communes in the service areas of thecompanies. A key objective of the wastewater project is to reduce the pollution load from the discharge of untreated wastewater to Lake Ohrid.

Keywords: Wastewater, sludge, management strategies, potable water.

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