Arid regions with low rainfall are under continuous threat and pressure to maintain its stability and to meet public demands, specifically issues related to fresh water. Due to the lack of rainfall and continuous population growth, many countries in the arid regions depend mainly on desalination of seawater and brackish water. Most countries in those regions have constructed sewage treatment plants (STP) due to the significant increase in sewage effluents. Many of the STPs constructed in the coastal area dump excess treated effluent into the sea. In this study, Oman was used as a model of sewage effluent pollution. In 2006, it was reported that only 11% of sewage produce is recycled while the rest is unused. It is estimated that by 2035 the quantity of treated sewage effluent (TSE) will be more than 70 million m3. If this TSE contains pollutants it will be disastrous to the environment. The main purpose of sewage treatment is to remove organic matter and microbial contaminants. However, heavy metals from industrial uses remain intact. In this investigation the marine fish around treated sewage dumping points were found to contain heavy metals. The highest heavy metals concentration in TSE was Ni followed by Cu, Mn, Fe, Co, Pb, and Zn. On the other hand, the dominant heavy metals in fish were Ni, Cu, Pb and Zn although they were at permissible levels. If this trend continues the presence of heavy metals in fish is a serious public health problem.
Salma K. Al-Musharafi, Sur College of Applied Science, Oman
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