Low quality and unregulated water in Lebanon

Mendez England & Associates

Source: Mendez England & Associates

Due to the shortage, the Lebanese are turning to private sources of water. A problem with these private wells is that they are not monitored properly. Only salinity and calcium are tested because of their tangible effects (tastes and pipe clogging) but not microbes. However, a lot of Beirut’s groundwater is contaminated with sewage, due to old or non-existent wastewater infrastructure. Even if not used for drinking purposes, even bathing in this water may pose a health risk.

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The state of Lebanon’s water resources has become a major concern for both the government and the people. With a lack of proper facilities to treat them, Industrial, municipal, and wastewater have been dumped into rivers and seas for decades. Earlier this year 17 people were diagnosed with hepatitis as a result of contaminated water. Improving the quality of water needs to be a top priority for the current government of Lebanon. The first step would be to promote awareness of end users on the local water quality, especially regarding the use of unlicensed water tankers. Clean safe drinking water needs to be provided whilst protecting groundwater aquifers. Wastewater intrusion should be limited by rehabilitating the aging network. Only 58% of the country is connected to a wastewater network; increasing coverage and improving the existing network will have a positive impact on the country’s water quality and standard of living for the population.

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