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|Title: ||Environmental impact assessment for the proposed sewerage system Gadhdhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives|
|Keywords: ||Project description|
Legislative and regulatory considerations
|Issue Date: ||Nov-2015|
|Citation: ||Sandcays. (2015). Environmental impact assessment for the proposed sewerage system Gadhdhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives. Male': Maldives|
|Abstract: ||This report discusses the findings of an environmental impact study under the proposed
sewerage system project at GDh. Gadhdhoo. The project is proposed by the Ministry of
Environment and Energy.
The project entails establishment of a proper island-wide sewerage system with a sea outfall.
The proposed project will involve installing a pipe network to collect sewage from all the
households on the island and necessary pumping stations. Currently raw sewage is disposed
onto the ground via house-level soak-pits; polluting groundwater greatly. The proposed
outfall will pump wastewater beyond the house-reef at about 15m depth.
A number of alternatives to the proposed project components have been identified in this
document. Of these, the preferred alternative is to include a treatment plant in the design,
though the consultants are of the opinion, proposed system without a treatment plan is the best
option. Other alternatives include considering different disposal options; ground and lagoon,
which are not recommended for reasons of greater environmental pollution.
Environmental impacts were assessed for both the construction and operational phase of the
project. Most of the environmental impacts identified for the construction phase of the project
were minor negative; these include sedimentation from installing the outfall and temporary
salinization of groundwater from de-watering to lay out the pipe network and pump stations.
However, the impacts identified for the operational phase of the project were mostly moderate
to major positive; improvement of groundwater quality from stopping the current sewage
disposal practise and reduction of related health hazards. Disposal of sewage via proposed sea
outfall is considered to have a minor negative impact.
The main mitigation measures for this project during the construction phase are similar to
other sewerage projects such as dust control plans, working during low- tide as much as
possible and rigorous supervision. In case of deterioration of groundwater quality due to
potential dewatering during construction of lifting stations in residential area, measures to
water plants in the area that may be affected due to dewatering shall be in place. The design
shall also ensure that dewatering is minimized. As for the operational phase trained
maintenance staff to service the sewerage system and regular check-ups has been suggested in addition to monitoring water quality as well as reef health for potential impacts. Increasing
awareness on groundwater conservation and promoting sustainable groundwater aquifer
management, especially the skimming well technology has been suggested.
The Proponent is willing to undertake monitoring during and after the construction phase in
addition to undertaking the mitigation measures proposed by the consultants.
In conclusion, it appears justified from a technical, administrative and to some extent
environmental point of view, to carry out the proposed sewerage system development project.
The alternative of wastewater treatment will involve greater operational costs; therefore, it is
recommended to proceed the project as proposed while keeping the option open for future
wastewater treatment, as and when required.|
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