While many people may not think of how important a wastewater treatment plant is to a community, three visitors from Kosovo and their interpreter could immediately see how much of an impact the Grand Island Wastewater Treatment Plant could make.

Makfirete Dibrani, head of division for Water Resource Management River Basin Authority; Dukagjin Gashi, chief of waste management in the municipality of Pristina; and Besnik Krasniqi visited the plant as a part of the Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

All three of the visitors spoke through their interpreter, Diana Kristo-Tolka.

Krasniqi said this is the second wastewater treatment plant they have visited in the United States, with the first being in Arizona.

Gashi said the reason they came to Grand Island is to experience a wastewater treatment plant and how it operates because while there are treatment plants in the works in Kosovo, there is nothing currently there comparable to the Grand Island plant.

“This is what we are here to get the experience of, wastewater treatment, and to see how wastewater is treated in the United States and what are the processes it goes through,” Gashi said.

Dibrani said going through the treatment plant was interesting because a treatment plant that will be coming to Kosovo is going to be a lot like the plant in Grand Island.

“In Kosovo, so far they do not have a water treatment plant,” Dibrani said. “The first one will be commissioned very soon and it is more or less this kind of treatment plant.”

Gashi said there was a kind of treatment but it is “primitive and very simple.”

Krasniqi said a big difference between the plant in Grand Island and the plants that will be built in Kosovo is the capacity of water and waste that will be coming into the plant.

“Here you treat much more waste from industrial,” Gashi said.

“Yes, from JBS,” Krasniqi said.

Most of the wastewater that will come to the plants in Kosovo will come from houses and smaller farms, Krasniqi said.

Overall, they all were able to take something out of the tour and will take that experience back to Kosovo.

Dibrani said that she has seen the blueprints of the plant that will soon be built in Kosovo and that plant also uses aeration as a part of the treatment process.

Krasniqi said he thought the use of ultraviolet lights in the treatment process was interesting and something he hasn’t seen before.

Gashi said that the tour was interesting for him because he hasn’t seen the process from start to finish in Kosovo.

“For me it was interesting because I could see from the beginning to the end how the process flows,” Gashi said. “We have not seen such a thing in our country. We do not have a plant that starts with wastewater until it’s clear and discharged.”

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