Choa Chu Kang Waterworks equips world's largest ceramic membrane

The membrane can treat up to 40 million gallons of raw water per day.

The Choa Chu Kang Waterworks has completed upgrades to utilise ceramic membrane technology in preparation for climate change, the Minister for the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) Masagos Zulkifli revealed.

This was done under the three-year second phase of upgrading works that cost $162m. It is now considered to have the world’s single largest ceramic membrane system, that can treat up to 40 million gallons of raw water per day.

According to Zulkifli, conditions caused by climate change like warming of waters and nutrient runoff from intense rains may fuel algae growth in the reservoirs. This can cause the quality of catchment water to deteriorate.

Meanwhile, the ceramic membrane can last about 20 years and only causes water loss of about 1%, whilst polymeric membranes have a lifespan of about 5 years and result in water loss of 5%.

The upgrade also implemented ozone and biological activated carbon (ozone-BAC) filtration in their system.

Additionally, the Public Utilities Board (PUB) signed an MOU to form a utilities alliance with Dutch water utility PWN and British utility South West Water.

In 2011, PUB collaborated with PWN Technologies to build a $5m ceramic demonstration plant at Choa Chu Kang Waterworks.

The Choa Chu Kang Waterworks was built in 1975 with a capacity to treat 80 million gallons of water daily from Kranji, Pandan and Tengeh reservoirs. The first phase of upgrades was completed in 2008 to equip polymeric membranes on top of using sand filters.

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