Drinking water. The quality of service remains below the standards of OECD countries. For example, the discontinuity of service is a serious problem. Few cities enjoy continued service, and water pressure is often inadequate. In Riyadh water was available only once every 2.5 days in 2011, while in Jeddah it is available only every 9 days. This is still better than in 2008, when the respective figures were 5 and 23 days. While systematic data on service quality are now available for several cities, they are not publicly available.
Most desalination plants in Saudi Arabia use distillation technologies, such as multi-stage flash distillation, which remove all minerals from the water. The water thus needs to receive post-treatment to add minerals before it is being distributed.
Wastewater. There are 33 wastewater treatment plants with a capacity of 748 million cubic meters per year, and 15 more are under construction. Much of the treated wastewater is being reused to water green spaces in the cities (landscaping), for irrigation in agriculture and other uses.
Concentrated sewage from septic tanks is collected through trucks. In Jeddah the trucks dumped sewage for 25 years in a valley that was euphemistically called the "Musk Lake". The pond, holding more than 50 million cubic meters of sewage, almost overflowed during heavy rains in November 2009 threatening to flood parts of the city. After that, the King ordered the lake to be dried up within a year with the help of the National Water Company.
Read more about this topic: Water Supply And Sanitation In Saudi Arabia
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