Japan to help upgrade Yangon’s ancient sewers

The new system, which is being put in place with help from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, will replace the colonial-era sewerage arrangements that were meant to serve a population of 300,000 people living in six townships.

The installation is part of the city’s strategic development plan to 2040. Experts from Japan, Korea and Australia have worked on the project, which involves the construction of eight treatment plants, said the mayor.

A K2 billion loan from Japan would help finance the work, said U Wai Lwin, of the Engineering Department (Water and Sanitation) at Yangon City Development Committee.

“We’ve collected data on the volume of sludge produced by the whole of Yangon, and will use the most

advanced technology,” he said, adding that the cost estimates of materials and land had yet to be finalised.

Until 2003, 3.25 million gallons of sludge from Pazundaung, Botahtaung, Latha, Kyauktada, Lanmadaw, and Pabedan townships oozed through two pipelines, 24 and 36 inches in diameter, into the Yangon River. In 2005, a sludge processing works was built at Thanhletsun, Botahtaung township.

The new system will employ Membrane Bioreactors (MBR), which take up only about one quarter of the space used by the older Conventional Activated Sludge system used in the many septic tanks used throughout the city.

Kamaryut township resident U Toe Toe said, “We tell local authorities when the septic tank is full and they come and empty it. We don’t know what they do with it after that.”

The MBR system also produces recycled water.

One such system has already been installed in the municipal staff training school (Maugon compound). It can process 30 cubic metres a day, enough to serve 500 people.

The MBRs will be provided by Japanese company Mitsubishi Rayon at a cost of US$250,000 each.

“Only Japan, Korea and China can use these machines because of the high price. As the technology improves and production quantities increase, the price should fall. We see these machines being used in ASEAN countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia,” said U Hlwam Moe Zaw of Mitsubishi Rayon.

Source: Myanmar Times

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