MORE than 500 sewage treatment plants (STP) in the Klang Valley will be decommissioned as part of Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd’s (IWK) effort in rationalising its efficiency.
Out of this, 80 STPs will be upgraded to centralised plants to cater for the growing population in the Klang Valley.
Appointed as the Project Management Consultancy (PMC) for the construction of sewerage facilities under the Greater Kuala Lumpur Programme (GKL), the RM3.6bil project funded by the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry (Kettha) will be completed by September 2020.
IWK chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Kadir Mohd Din said 521 STPs would be closed and the sewage from these plants will be rechannelled to bigger-capacity regional STPs.
“The GKL project is parked under the River of Life initiatives under the Economic Transformation Programme.
“It is being carried out to transform Klang Valley into the top 20 most liveable metropolis as well as the top 20 economic growth globally.
“The project that was started two years ago costs RM6bil which includes managing industrial waste.
“As for IWK, we are only responsible in managing domestic waste and the sewerage system in Klang Valley needs to be improved in order to achieve that vision,” Abdul Kadir said during an interview at IWK headquarters at Jalan Dungun, Kuala Lumpur.
For a bigger community
Some of the treatment plants were built back in the 1950s thus are unable to support the growing development in Klang Valley.
Abdul Kadir said there were several concerns that arise from the old system such as in the case where some neighbourhoods still use communal septic tanks.
“We now consider communal septic tanks as a sub-standard system as it cannot meet the standards the Department of Environment (DoE) have set for us.
“There will also come a time where people cannot accept a STP to be located in their neighbourhood or in a park where safety is a concern for children.
“That is why all these sub-standard treatment plants need to be decommissioned and connected to the centralised STP,” he said.
“With the sewerage system connected to a centralised plant, we can reduce the risk of theft and breakdowns of the plants in small neighbourhoods.
“Some of the pipes are too old to repair so we rather close it down to save cost,” he added.
The project comes in four main exercises – upgrading of existing STPs, laying new pipes to connect the STPs, monitoring the condition of the entire network as well as sewerage rehabilitation.
A total of 46 pump stations will be built along 280km new pipes that will be laid to connect the plants
“The smaller plants will be closed but some of the existing ones will be upgraded into a centralised sewage treatment plant.
“As for pipe monitoring, we need to check 234km of pipes in the critical lines where a robot equipped with CCTV will go into the sewer lines and access the condition on whether it needs to be replaced.
“We also have to rehabilitate 77km of sewage lines due to root penetration, which is unavoidable since our pipes are not seamless.
“Tree roots grow where water seeps out from the loose joints,” he said.
As the project management consultant, IWK has to ensure that the construction works are carried out according to plan with the specific budget and it complies with the standards of the Department of Occupational Safety And Health.
While the tender, evaluation and awarding of projects were done by the Sewerage Services Department, once the entire project is completed, IWK will take over its operations.
“The centralised STP will serve more than 100,000 residents compared to smaller ones which only cater for 50,000 to 100,000 people.
“For example, the one in Pantai can serve up to two million people,” Abdul Kadir said.
Positive impact and challenges
To-date, there are only three centralised STPs that have not been completed and they are located at Taman Mawar, Puchong as well as Section 23 and Section 7 in Shah Alam
During a site visit to the STP in Section 23 in Shah Alam, IWK senior project manager Wan Latiff Wan Abd Rahman said the new centralised plant is covered and there is less smell compared to before.
“The existing plant that is partially operational here will be upgraded to a centralised STP later.
“The new system is more hygienic than the old system,” he said.
With better effluent quality, there will be clearer rivers which in turn increase the value of the properties located next to the rivers.
“However, when we look at recreational water bodies that allow kayaking and other water activities, tackling the sewerage aspect will not be enough.
“Industrial waste also contributes to pollution but that has to be managed by other agencies.
“IWK only takes care of the sewerage system,” said Abdul Kadir.
One of the challenges in managing the centralised STPs is keeping up with the new technology and utilising it to recycle by-products into resources.
The wastes contributed by domestic households can be recycled into useful products into gas, liquid and solid forms.
“We aim to achieve zero waste discharge and rebrand these treatment plants as One-Green Resource Centre.
“By promoting effluent recycling and reuse of gas released from these plants, it will reduce our carbon footprint and greenhouse effect.
“The gas produced can be converted into energy thus they are able to save by not taking electricity supply from Tenaga Nasional Bhd.
“Effluent water could also be recycled for industrial use to cushion water shortage.
“Sludge could also be converted into organic non-chemical fertiliser.
“For example, we have a project with the Port Dickson Municipal Council whereby the water released from our sewage plants are used for landscaping and plant nurseries.
“Currently we are doing it on a small scale and we plan to turn this into a mega project later,” Abdul Kadir said.
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