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Wastewater Pollutes Karoon River
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Wastewater Pollutes Karoon River

Iran’s largest river and the only navigable waterway that once boasted of being one of the cleanest rivers in the world is now ravaged by home sewage and industrial and agricultural waste. Waste mismanagement has altered the landscape of this flowing body of water and turned it into a cesspool of dirt- a far cry from what it was in yesteryears. The situation is dire with big industries operating alongside the river with no water purification facilities to help redress the problem, reports ISNA.
Karoon River is all the more in the spotlight as it is the only river in the country with access to international waters in the Persian Gulf. Much is at stake since the river is a major source of Khuzestan Province’s drinking water and a landmark attraction for its capital city Ahwaz.
Hassan Pasandideh, an official at the Department of Environment (DOE) says the discharge of industrial and agricultural waste into rivers is a challenge faced by most rivers in the country and Khuzestan Province and Karoon River are no exception.
‘’Industrial, agricultural wastewater and home sewage abound in the province and flow into its only outlet the Karoon. The effluents are discharged into the river without being purified,’’ said Pasandideh.
 Treatment  
 Pasandideh says under present circumstances only half of provinces possess sewage treatment systems and of these 30% are efficient and the rest do not meet the environmental standards.
‘’We are in dire need of sewage treatment plants, especially in industrial parks - half of which lack such facilities at the moment,’’ said Pasandideh and called for the cooperation of the ministry of industries with the DOE to build the sewage treatment plants on top priority.
The same is with agricultural waste which contains numerous toxins from poisons and fertilizers, the discharge of which into rivers cause contamination. Using advanced irrigation technologies can address this problem, he said.
He said by improving farming methods and adopting water conservation techniques, much of the water pollution which wreaks havoc on rivers can be averted; aquifers and groundwater should also be managed properly.
‘’The main problem in Khuzestan region is agricultural wastewater discharged into Karoon River in large quantities,’’ the official said, adding “the DOE is seriously pursuing the expansion of water purification systems throughout the region so that both residential and agricultural wastewater treatment plants will increase.”

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