In a bid to stop unauthorised disposal of sewage by sewage tanker drivers, Muscat Municipality and Haya Water have urged people to tip them off if they witness such activities.
Many tanker drivers have been found disposing of sewage on beaches to save money or to avoid queueing up at the Al Ansab Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). “We know that there are tankers whose drivers do not take sewage to the Al Ansab STP and just dump it in the sea,” a Muscat Municipality official said.
“A few cases have been reported in the past and the culprits fined. But sometimes, they just get away with the crime. People are requested to call our hotline on 1111 to report any such incident,” a Muscat Municipality official said. He added that sewage should be dumped only in Al Ansab.
“Some drivers prefer to empty tankers in open areas or on beaches, which leads to pollution. Both Muscat Municipality and Haya Water are working together to catch the culprits. Even though municipality inspectors are keeping a close watch on the situation, we request the public to do their bit too by reporting such cases.” Shad Zlateff, a Muscat resident, recently witnessed such an incident on Azaiba beach. “I spotted a yellow tanker dumping sewage on the beach around 4.30pm.
The driver tried to chase me away, but I managed to take a few pictures.” Zlateff informed the authorities and said he hoped they would take action in this regard. “Even though I could not note down the vehicle registration number, I managed to get the phone number on the tanker, which I think can be used to track it down.
I think the issue of preserving the environment should be everyone's concern.” A few such cases have been reported so far, according to an official at Haya Water, which manages the Al Ansab STP. “We have arrested some people who were found disposing of sewage in open areas and manholes, in cooperation with ROP.
The unauthorised disposal stopped temporarily after we fined a few of them. We call upon people to report any such incidents on 80077111,” said Yusuf al Lawati, transport coordinator, Haya Water. On why tanker drivers dump sewage on beaches, Lawati said, “The tankers are charged RO5 for disposing of 5,000 gallons of sewage and RO1 for each extra 1,000 gallons.
They can dump it for free on a beach. They prefer this as they are sometimes required to wait at our plant for some time due to maintenance.”