Current and future wastewater treatment and disposal strategies of Istanbul city are presented. Istanbul is the largest city of Turkey and has a population of 10 million that may reach about 20 million in 2032. The city is divided into Asian and European sides by the Bosphorus Strait. The Sea of Marmara is an enclosed sea, connected to the Black Sea and Aegean Sea by the straits of Bosphorus and Dardanelles. Therefore, there is very strong and permanent stratification in the Sea of Marmara throughout the year, lower layers carrying Mediterranean and the upper layers carrying Black Sea water. This unique coastal structure of Istanbul necessitated a detailed study to determine the level of wastewater treatment and the location and depth of marine outfalls.
A comprehensive three-dimensional water quality modelling study concluded that tertiary treatment including nitrogen and phosphorus removal is required for the effluent discharges into the Marmara Sea. However, enhanced primary or even primary treatment has been found satisfactory for discharges into the lower layers of the Bosphorus and into the Black Sea. Provisions for upgrading to secondary treatment were recommended. The status of existing and planned wastewater treatment plants and sea outfalls of Istanbul city are also presented. Although the amount of treated wastewater was only 63 percent in 1998, a target of 95 percent treatment level by the end of 2000 has been adopted in implementation plans. All treatment plants are located at or close to the coast except Pasakoy WWTP which is in the catchment area of Omerli Reservoir, the major source of drinking water for Istanbul city. The Pasakoy WWTP has been designed to treat wastewaters collected from the catchment area of Omerli Reservoir to tertiary level before ultimate disposal. The implementation programme together with the cost estimates are given. Total investment on water, wastewater and stormwater projects up to year 2032 is estimated at about 10 billion US Dollars. The share of the wastewater projects in this total is increasing with time. The financial analysis concluded that investments for a Higher Demand Scenario can be realised by raising the water tariffs to 1.0 $/m3 for Phase 1 and 0.9 $/m3 for Phase 2.