Water quality parameters assessment of Ras El-Ain Natural Ponds, Tyr, Lebanon.

doi.org/10.2166/ws.2023.140

Milad Khatib, Mohamad Daoud, Wahib ArairoMarianne Saba & Hussein Mortada

This blog post, written by Milad Khatib, provides an introduction to his recently published paper from Water Supply, and highlights some of the key features of the research.

Tyr, Lebanon, is one of the world's oldest cities. It has usually been inhabited. It is located on Lebanon's southern coast, 83km south of Beirut, Lebanon's capital. Tyr was the mighty metropolis that reigned over the oceans and built lucrative colonies that include Cadiz and Carthage. It was the site of the initial discovery of purple pigment, according to mythology.

Tyr, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979, is one of the largest and most famous antiquities in the eastern Mediterranean, preserving the architectural and artistic triumphs of the different civilizations who occupied the settlement over three millennia.

Ras El-Ain is located about 5 kilometers south of Tyr in a fertile agricultural region as described by Renan, E. in 1864. Al-Safsafa (Stagnant and Tide), Al-Sayde, and Al-Asrawi are the sources of four natural ponds. These ponds were utilized to provide drinkable water to Tyr and the nearby territories, as well as to irrigate an area of over 30km2 via a series of canals.

In addition to climatic change, population growth and fast urbanization exacerbate chemical and microbiological water contamination. The water in these freshwater ponds has been severely polluted because of unrestrained solid and liquid waste dumping. Pollution can be seen through direct observations, odors, watercolors, and patterns.

Several questions should be discussed:

  • Are these ponds still suitable for drinking and irrigation purposes?
  • Is the collected water from these ponds within the reservoir of the Water Department properly treated before being pumped and distributed to the residents?
  • Does the water in these ponds contain bacteria?

Before making recommendations, all these questions should be answered clearly. This paper provides answers to all of these questions through the use of physiochemical and microbiological tests. The purpose of this research is to motivate the community, municipality, and government to save our water supply in Lebanon, but also globally, using the results obtained to prepare a healthy contribution plan.

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