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University of Balamand > Academics > Faculties > Faculty of Engineering > Departments > Civil & Environmental Engineering > UOB Wastewater Treatment Pilot Plant

UOB Wastewater Treatment Pilot Plant

The UOB Pilot Treatment Plant is located in Balamand within the University Campus at its North end and its lowest elevation. This site was selected by the University, in line with the Master Plan, assuring a down gradient location and distance from existing buildings and facilities.


A program of visits or “field days visits” is organized for members of the community including Municipalities, Ministries, NGO’s, Engineers and Technicians, Trainees and Students. A major task is to educate the community about the need for and the importance of sewage treatment, and the adoption of environmentally sound practices of recycling; such as the re-use of the effluent in irrigation. So the achievement of the objectives for which the Pilot Plant was built, is to develop public awareness leading to the acceptance of sewage treatment, and the beneficial recycling of the effluent and the sludge produced. 

Towns, villages, and their municipalities are now working within disseminated knowledge and education about the importance and inevitability of the treatment of sewage. These programs, combined with the visits that are scheduled to the Pilot Plant, will help them to know about the process of wastewater treatment and its efficiency in converting the risky sewage into harmless material to be disposed safely in the environment and its beneficial reuse for irrigation.



As a university, the prime event is the presentation of laboratory analytical data produced regularly on samples collected from the treatment plant because theoretical knowledge needs to be scientifically supported by analytical data. For this purpose, a monitoring program is initiated to generate data on certain parameters that indicate the progress of the treatment process . This is carried out through several tests conducted on influent and effluent water samples collected. Accuracy and precision of performance of the plant and operations are verified by comparison with standard values set by the Lebanese Ministry of Environment (MoE) to check on and ensure the quality of analytical data produced. In addition, the treated effluent is being used for irrigation at UOB Campus. The areas irrigated with treated wastewater have showed high and good growth in comparison with irrigation with well water of the University.


The plant has been in operation since December 2007. By the time of conducting these visits, it is hoped that the experimental field will be already under cultivation to demonstrate the beneficial recycling of the effluent in crop production. It is of significance to show how reuse complements and culminates treatment.

The following is a detailed description of all the phases of the treatment.


Preliminary Treatment

A comminutor with a screen is installed at the inlet of the incoming sewer pipe. The screen device is galvanized steel able to remove all solids larger than 2 cm.


Secondary Treatment (Biological Treatment –Extended Aeration)

The proposed biological treatment is as per the method recommended by EU “The Extended Aeration - Activated Sludge”. This proposed type is capable of producing an effluent standard of 30 mg/l of SS and 20mg/l of BOD5 and 80% removal of total nitrogen.


Extended Aeration Installations 

The proposed process is Extended Aerobic Installations, which involves treatment in two distinct compartments. As mentioned before, this Plant is for educational and research purposes, therefore the EU in conjunction with the UOB have selected this particular scheme for this University. Following is a general description of the system: 

The extended-aeration process involves treatment in two biological compartments: one aeration or mixed-liquor compartment and one settlement compartment. The macerated sewage, flows to the aeration compartment where it is aerated in admixture with activated sludge. The sludge is separated from the mixed liquor in the settlement compartment (Clarifier) which is integrated with the first compartment but separated from it by a partition wall. 

A fraction of the sludge from the settling unit is recycled to the aeration compartment by means of air lift or a dedicated electrical pump. The treated effluent leaves the plant over a weir. The sludge return system from the sedimentation tank (settlement tank) will be of continuous operation and the volume of sludge to be returned will be between 0.5 and 1.5 peak flow.

The retention period in the aeration compartment is designed for 27h based on average daily flow rate. Maximum daily BOD/sludge - loading factor is between 0.05kg/(kg.d) and 0.1 kg/(kg.d) MLSS, and a concentration maintained between 3000 mg/l to 4000 mg/l MLSS. The surface loading (flow per unit area) in the settlement compartment does not exceed 1m³/m² per hour, at peak hourly flow rate. The retention time is three hours at peak hourly flow rate.

Aeration of the mixed liquor in the Oxidation and Nitrification stage is achieved by diffused air aeration equipment. 

The entire aeration system has a capacity of approximately150 m³/h to cover the oxygen demand at any time and any possible situation in the biological stage by dissolved oxygen concentrations of 2g/l. 

In addition to aeration capacities required for biological treatment stage, appropriate equipment is provided to allow sufficient air supply for the sludge holding tank.

Two Blowers (one duty and one stand by) are provided.

High Efficiency corrosion resistant Diffusers are provided. 

The supernatant liquor from the settlement tank is disinfected by means of chlorination prior to polishing it (during the tertiary treatment). 

A dosing plant for chlorine is provided for all periods. A separate tank with a capacity adequate for chlorine contact time of at least 60 min at peak flow is provided. The tank has baffles to avoid short circuiting.


Sludge Holding Tank 

The excess sludge will be stored and stabilized in an aerated sludge holding tank prior to its transfer and proper disposal. The capacity of the sludge holding tank is 20 m3 and the air flow proposed is 1.5 m³/h.


Tertiary Treatment

For a better water quality to be used for irrigation of grass, bushes, trees etc. a "polishing" stage of treatment (tertiary treatment) is provided in order to remove the turbidity, odor, chlorine and the residual microbial content, achieving at least a standard of 10mg/l SS and 10 mg/l BOD5. 

The tertiary treatment method consists of a Filter Feed Backwash Booster Pumps, and a Multi media (Multilayer) Filter.

Irrigation Tank and Pumping Station 

The treated water (after the tertiary treatment) is stored in a steel irrigation tank with a capacity of 100 m³. The tank is equipped with pump sump and pumping station (or a booster pumping) set including feeding pipe for irrigation system. The pump capacity is 6 m³/h at 3 meter head. ​​​​​​
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University of Balamand,
Balamand Al Kurah,

Tel:  +961-6-930250
Fax: +961-6-930278