Electricity and Telecommunication Services:
Beit Sahour is connected to a public electricity network; served by Jerusalem Electricity Company, which is the main source of electricity in the city. Approximately 99.4 percent of the housing units in the city are connected to the network, and 0.1 percent is dependent on private generators, while the source of electricity is unknown for the remaining units (0.4%). Furthermore, Beit Sahour is connected to a telecommunication network and approximately 95 percent of the housing units within the city boundaries are connected to phone lines.
Buses and taxis are the two main means of transportation in Beit Sahour, as there is a bus company in the city and a number of taxi offices. As for the road network in the city; there are a total of 57km of paved roads, which occupies an area of 602 donums, however, a part of these roads are in need of rehabilitation. There are also a total of 10km of main roads and a total of 40km of secondary roads, which are paved but in bad condition, in addition to 3km of unpaved secondary roads.
Beit Sahour is provided with water by Palestinian Water Authority (PWA), through the public water network established in 1960, about 98.6 percent of the housing units are connected to the water network, and 1 percent is dependent on purchase of water tanks, while the source of water supply is unknown for the remaining units (0.4%). Based on the PWA estimations, the rate of water supply per capita in the communities provided with water is about 100 liters per day, but this rate varies from one community to another. The quantity of water supplied to Beit Sahour in 2009 was about 468,000 cubic meters/year therefore the estimated rate of water supply per capita is about 105 liters/day.
Here it should be noted that many Beit Sahour citizens do not in fact consume this amount of water due to water losses, which are about 43 percent. The losses usually happen at the main source, major transport lines, distribution network, and at the household level (Beit Sahour Municipality, 2010), thus the rate of water consumption per capita in Beit Sahour is 60 liters per day. This is a low rate compared with the minimum quantity proposed by the World Health Organization, which is 100 liters per capita per day.
Beit Sahour city has a 44.4km public sewage network, established between 1995 and 1999. The end of the network is connected to the pumping station north of Beit Sahour “Hilwa Tomb Pumping Station”, which pumps the waste water into Wadi an Nar. According to the results of Community Survey conducted by the PCBS in 2007 and the data provided from PWA, the majority of Beit Sahour housing units (77.9%) use the sewage network as a major mean for wastewater disposal, 21.4 percent use cesspits, and 0.1 percent lack waste water collection and disposal service, while the means for waste water disposal in unknown for the remaining units (0.6%).
Based on the estimated daily per capita water consumption, the estimated amount of wastewater generated per day, is approximately 594 cubic meters, or 217,000 cubic meters annually. At the individual level in the city, it is estimated that the per capita wastewater generation is approximately 48 liters per day. The estimated quantity of wastewater collected through the sewage network per day, is about 463 cubic meters per day, or 169,000 cubic meters annually. The wastewater resulting from the cesspits is discharged by wastewater tankers directly to open areas or nearby valleys (Wadi an Nar) without any regard for the environment. Here it should be noted that there is no wastewater treatment either at the source or at the disposal sites which poses a threat to the environment and the public health.
Solid Waste Management:
Beit Sahour Municipality is considered the official body responsible for managing solid waste, i.e. solid waste collection and disposal, generated from the citizens and establishments in the city, which is currently represented by solid waste collection and disposal. Due to the fact that the process of solid waste management is costly, a monthly or yearly fee has been charged on the population serviced by domestic solid waste collection and transportation services which is about 42 JD/year per house and 100 JD/year per commercial store. However, the collected fees are not considered sufficient for a good management of solid waste, as it contributes to only 85 percent of the waste service costs, and the municipality is obliged to cover the rest of costs (15%) form its own budget. Despite this, the municipality is currently covering 44 percent of the costs, due to the fact that most of the residents are not committed to paying their fees, thus, the collected fees do not cover more than 56 percent of the service costs.
Most of the population in Beit Sahour benefits from the solid waste services, where waste is collected from households, institutions, shops, and public squares in plastic bags and then transferred to containers with a capacity of 800–1,000 liters and/or 5 - 6 cubic meters each, spread throughout the neighborhoods. The municipality collects the solid waste from the containers daily and transports it in large pressure trucks or unloading trucks to Abu Dees dumping site, 20km from Beit Sahour. The common method for solid waste treatment in Abu Dees dumping site is burial. According to the data provided by Beit Sahour municipality; there are two trucks for solid waste collection and transfer and 120 containers spread throughout the city (Beit Sahour Municipality, 2010). In the future, the solid waste will be disposed in Al Maniya landfill that will be established in Bethlehem governorate. It should be mentioned here that household waste, industrial, and medical solid waste are collected together and dumped into the same landfill, with the absence of any special system for separation and/or collection. The largest volume of solid waste is household waste which makes up around 45-50 percent of total capacity of solid waste.
The daily per capita rate of solid waste production in Beit Sahour is between 0.9 and 1.2kg. Thus the estimated amount of solid waste produced per day from the Beit Sahour residents is nearly 13 tons, or 4740 tons per year. The main component of household solid waste is composed of organic materials, followed by paper and cardboard, and then by plastic.