Zamzam distribution goes high-tech
The increase is part of the new development projects and modifications, set to be launched shortly, Al-Madinah daily reported quoting well-informed sources.
At present, there are 20 manual outlets for distribution of the holy water. These will be replaced by automatic ones and increased to 42 as part of measures to ease the heavy rush of Umrah pilgrims and visitors to Islam’s holiest shrine to collect the Zamzam water.
The number of escalators for the movement of Zamzam containers from the bottling plant to the distribution center will also be increased. A coin will be used to collect the holy water. The consumer needs to insert the coin in a machine to get the 10-liter Zamzam container automatically. There will be a limit of 10 containers of the holy water per customer per day. The containers cost SR5 each, according to the sources.
The Ministry of Water and Electricity, which is supervising the project, is currently exploring the possibilities of distributing Zamzam water only to those who show their IDs. This measure aims to prevent the illegal trade of the holy water by a section of foreigners. There were press reports about a flourishing black market for Zamzam during the peak Haj and Umrah seasons. The King Abdullah Zamzam Water Purification Project authorities are also planning to introduce a mechanism to distribute the holy water among pilgrims, visitors and foreigners in a much easier way.
Another plan is to purify refrigerated containers of Zamzam at the Grand Mosque in Makkah and the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah in an automated manner instead of manual washing, as the latter poses risks of contamination. The ministry has also plans to set up signs at all the entry points of Makkah indicating the exact location of the King Abdullah Zamzam Water Purification Project in Kudai.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah launched the SR700 million project on Sept. 3, 2010 while he spent the last 10 days of Ramadan in the vicinity of the Holy Kaaba. The state-of-the-art plant will purify five million liters of the holy water every day through two main purification lines, each using a number of filters and a sterilization unit. Ten million liters will be stored in a tank, from which water will be pumped to the Grand Mosque through four stainless steel pipes, each with a diameter of 20 cm. Another two million liters will be pumped every day to a nearby factory, where it will be packaged. The station has buildings containing reserve electricity generators that produce 10 megawatts of power.
The project also incorporates the latest technology to monitor the purification process from the moment water is pumped out of the Zamzam well until it is packaged in containers. It has air cooling, early warning, smoke detecting and sprinkler systems. Once the Zamzam water is treated and stored, it is automatically pumped to 42 distribution stations. The gigantic bottling project is implemented on a total area of 13,405 square meters.