Workers cleaning a RTA public transport bus at Al Khawaneej bus depot. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News


Close to 80 per cent of water used to clean public buses in Dubai is recycled, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) said.

This has resulted in saving 1.6 million litres of water every month, thanks to the water treatment plants and saving measures initiated at four of its depots in Al Khawaneej, Al Ruwaya, Jebel Ali and Al Ghusais where buses are washed daily.

Sustainability objective

“As part of RTA’s objectives, No. 5 and No. 6 relating to sustainability, we are always thinking of ways to reduce water and energy consumption in all our services and activities. We decided to make a start with respect to washing our fleet of buses,” said Bassil Ebrahim Saad, director, buses department, Public Transport Agency, RTA.

“We have 1,031 buses plying in Dubai. Every bus uses a minimum of 200 litres of fresh water for washing and cleaning. But with the water saving measures, we have managed to bring that number down to 40 litres. The rest is recycled water produced at the plants in the depots,” explained Saad. At the Al Khawaneej depot, there are four main components that make up the water treatment plants — a recycling apparatus, groundwater tanks, clean water reservoirs and a bacteria tank to remove unnecessary matter in the water. The bus is first washed by cleaners using environment-friendly detergents. The water is collected in two tanks with separate filtering systems. While one separates bacteria from the water, the other separates granules and sand particles. The recycled water is sent back to the pumps for washing and cleaning.

“Before we introduced water saving measures, 100 per cent of the water used was fresh water from Dewa. That number has now dropped to 20 per cent which is huge for us. From a monetary perspective, we are saving Dh16,714 monthly (Dh200,568 annually),” said Saad.