AD issues further statement in reply to WSC

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AD’s spokesman on Sustainable Development and Local Government Carmel Cacopardo has replied to the statement issued by the Water Services Corporation, which was issued in reply to a previous statement by AD. The full text of this statement is as follows:

“The assertion by WSC that treated effluent from the sewage purification plants has no economic value is the result of the incompetence of the authorities in permitting unregulated access to groundwater through illegal boreholes spread all over the island. This is currently the responsibility of the Resources Authority but for a substantial number of years was a direct responsibility of the Water Services Corporation.

If the authorities have over the years permitted the extraction of ground water for free, and still permit such extraction, isn’t it obvious that no one is willing to come forward to make use of recycled water.

To make matters worse WSC seems to have assumed that there will not be any changes to the situation and hence specifically selected the sites for the sewage purification plants at the far ends of the island where it is easier to discharge the water into the sea and very costly to reuse. If reuse of the treated effluent had been factored in, their proper siting should have been closer to the centre of the island, easily accessible to the agricultural zones.

The EU Wastewater Directive only stipulates the quality of water which has to be attained prior to its safe discharge into the sea. It does not offer guidelines for its reuse. It is up to us to determine that. Given that around 60% of Malta’s potable water is artificially produced through desalination in AD’s view it is irresponsible to consider treated effluent as an undesirable commodity.

It will not be long when due to the further depletion of groundwater, as well as the action which Malta will have to undertake to be compliant with the EU Water Framework Directive it will be necessary to consider using the treated effluent produced by the sewage purification plants at Xghajra and ic-Cumnija Mellieha. Then it may dawn on some that the siting of the sewage purification plants is too far out. It will then be argued that transporting the treated effluent is too costly.

This is administrative incompetence.

Who will assume responsibility?”

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