Wastewater treatment plant. (The Daily Star/Ghada Al Sharif)
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The Iaat wastewater treatment plant went into operation in 2005 and is situated a few kilometers from Deir al-Ahmar.Karam explains that one of the key measurements for the effectiveness of a wastewater treatment plant is the Biochemical Oxygen Demand measured in the water. The incoming BOD of water being treated should be around 350 milligrams of oxygen consumed per liter, but the number going into the Iaat plant is much higher because of industrial waste.According to a water analysis conducted by the Bekaa Water Establishment in 2018, the incoming BOD of the water showed 522 milligrams per liter, which Karam says is a strong indicator of the presence of nondomestic waste, part of which may be industrial, including blood from slaughterhouses.Despite this, Karam says the treatment plant is still managing to reduce the outgoing BOD quantity to 28 milligrams per liter, which is only 3 milligrams higher than the standard value of 25 milligrams per liter. Water Law 221 says the Bekaa Water Establishment is responsible for the Iaat plant's operation, but the CDR has been overseeing operations because of a lack of staff and resources, according to Karam.
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