‘Wastewater management system ready in 2012’

Borneo Post

by Peter Sibon. Posted on October 24, 2010, Sunday

KUCHING: The RM530 million Phase I of the Kuching City Wastewater Management System is expected to be completed by end of 2012, disclosed its project director Tai Lee Yoon.

ARTIST’S IMPRESSION: The proposed wastewater treatment plant located near Zecon Toll Plaza, Kuching.

He said once completed, the wastewater treatment plant near Zecon Toll Plaza would be able to process both the black and grey water from the city’s main centre.

(Black water refers to waste water from septic tanks while grey water refers to water discharge from kitchens, bathrooms and wash areas).

“It is hoped that after the phase I project is completed, many ‘environmentally dead’ rivers like Sg Padungan, Sg Bintangor and Sg Maong would be rehabilitated and would be able to support marine life,” Tai said at a briefing on Kuching Wastewater Management System at the project site near Zeacon Toll Plaza here yesterday. He said currently the project is “half way completed”.

Tai said once completed, the massive underground tunnel would have a total length of 64.4 km with a depth of between 6 and 27 metres (at the intake point where the waste treatment will be treated at the wastewater treatment plant).

“The whole project will be able to cater for 100, 000 population equivalent (PE) and is designed to last until 2030,” he said, adding that the project needs to be expanded once the population increases in future.

Under Phase I, only the densely populated areas of Kuching city are covered, from Satok, Wisma Saberkas right up to Padungan area. It will include housing areas, commercial centres and hotels.

“While our black water is partially treated in our septic tanks, our grey water is discharged directly to our drains without any treatment. In fact our grey water is more harmful to the rivers than the black water,” stressed Tai.

Tai explained that the conventional septic tank only partially treats black water from the toilets as it primarily serves as a sedimentary tank.

The treatment removes only about 40 per cent of the pollutants.

“It does not remove any nutrient or bacteria which are commonly found in black water,” he said.

Tai said if the Kuching city wastewater treatment system is not undertaken now, Sarawak River would be environmentally dead by 2020.

He stressed that once Phase I is completed, the project would be continued to include other parts of the city.

“We must protect our water resources against pollution. Our rivers must not be polluted because they are the precious source of our drinking water. Rivers are also places for recreation,” added Tai.

The Centralised Sewerage System will collect and treat both black and grey water to standard A, which could be treated for drinking water.

However, the solidified wastes would be treated at the Mambong Waste Management Landfill.

The massive project is undertaken by Nishimatsu of Japan and a local diversified group Hock Seng Lee.

Tai disclosed that each Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) cost between RM5 million to RM10 million per unit. Some 100 Swinburne engineering students also attended the briefing.