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Sulaimania is a City located in Kurdistan region in the north of Iraq. The city is facing a lack of water, and it will reach a very critical condition shortly. One of the potential solutions is to reuse the treated wastewater for non-direct human uses such as irrigation, washing, firefighting, groundwater recharging, and others. There is no sewage treatment plant in the city. The wastewater flows into a stream through some sewer outlets, and that causes big environmental issues. Decentralized wastewater treatment units (DTUs) are suggested to solve the issue. The treated wastewater will be used for the irrigation of the green areas of the city. The selected plant type is Extended Aeration treatment system, which is recommended for residential areas. Specifying the locations of the treatment units is very important from environmental, social and technical aspects. The main objective of this study is to select the best suitable places for the DTUs. Preliminary selections of 134 nominated areas for DTU locations were made in different places in the city. The locations are distributed into 10 groups near the main sewer pipes of the city. A model is created to evaluate those selected locations and eliminate the non-suitable locations by using GIS software integrated with the Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP). Five criteria were used in the model, which are, (1) The size of the available lands, (2) The distance from the decentralized units to the green areas (3) Population density around the decentralized treatment unit locations, (4) The slope of the land and (5) Depth of the main sewer pipe at the nominated area. In addition, the model adopted two restriction factors, which are: (1) The distance from the decentralized treatment unit to the buildings should not be less than 10 m and (2) The distance between the main sewer pipes and the treatment units are taken to bebe; 8.5% (6.95 ha) restricted, 0.4 % (0.23 ha) moderately suitable, 12.8% (10.50 ha) suitable, 38.8% very suitable (31.60 ha), 32.2% (26.33 ha) highly suitable and 7.3% (5.92 ha) extremely suitable. Each nominated area has more than one suitability class. Normalized Weighted Average (NWAV) of the suitability level percentage of each nominated area is found. The values of the NWAV are ranged from 0.0 to 1.0, and the selection of final DTUs locations will be for areas that have NWAV larger than 0.5. Optimum 30 suitable locations are selected out of the 134 nominated areas.


This article was originally published in Heliyon, available at DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2019. e01355.

This is an open access article under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license.



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