The ever-growing population in Kyrenia has overwhelmed the local sewage treatment plant. 4,000 cubic metres of wastewater is pumped into the sea every day. The problem has been on the increase for a number of years. Environmentalists describe it as an unseen but terrible disaster.
The treatment plant, which has a capacity of 2 thousand cubic meters, is unable to treat the 4 thousand cubic metres of wastewater is receives every day, according to experts. This leads to thousands of cubic meters of sewage water being pumped into the sea.
Chairman of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers Doğuş Veysioğlu, said that “We are getting waste much higher than the plant’s capacity. Capacity is two thousand cubic metres per day, but there is more than four thousand cubic meters of waste water. Sewage water is discharged directly into the sea.”
The failing sewage plant system poses a threat to public health. The treatment facility was built to cope with waste from 10,000 people. Currently it is unable meet the needs of over 80,000 residents.
Experts stressed that the treatment plant’s system is completely outdated and that measures had to be taken as soon as possible. It is absolutely forbidden to discharge untreated wastewater into the sea in the developed countries of the world. The Chamber of Environmental Engineers say that waste is pumped into the sea about two kilometres offshore, thanks to the provisional discharge pipe. However, it was known that the discharge pipe is in poor condition and that wastewater was leaking from holes in the pipe much closer to the coast.
The local municipalities still adhere to outdated regulations. According to current regulations, the discharge pipe should be 20 metres deep.
Experts, who have not produced solutions for the treatment plant and infrastructure in Kyrenia for years, have agreed that it is essential to find a permanent solution as soon as possible.
Doğuş Veysioğlu, Chairman of the Chamber of Environmental Engineers, spoke to Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Yeni Duzen’ about the operation of the plant. He pointed out that an integrated master plan had to be made urgently in the region and claimed that the reason for the municipality had not concentrated its efforts to the subject for many years was ‘privatisation’.
Speaking on behalf of the Biologists Association, Hasan Sarpten said that while the capacity of the facility can serve 10,000, it currently serves 80,000 residents. Noting that there is no proper sewage and sewage system in Girne, Sarpten explained that the wastewater in the region was pumped to the sea without treatment.
Environmental Engineer Menteş Zorba stated that in 2014, as a result of the study they carried out, they reported to the Municipality of Kyrenia that the plant was inadequate, but that no steps were taken until 2018. The Famagusta and Güzelyurt sewage systems work well. However, they draw attention to the need for the plant in Kyrenia to be modernised.