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Singapore Water Action: The Lean, Mean, Green Wastewater Machine

Singapore Water Action: The Lean, Mean, Green Wastewater Machine

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Published by: adbwaterforall on Oct 23, 2012
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file:///C|/Users/Rx/Documents/Water/Actions/SCRIBD-COMM100%20For%20Posting/converted/Green-Wastewater-Machine.html[10/23/2012 11:08:16 AM]
Country water actions are stories that showcase water reforms undertaken by individuals,communities, organizations, and governments in Asia-Pacific countries and elsewhere.
Country Water ActionsSingapore: The Lean, Mean, Green Wastewater Machine
August 2011
Web Writer After the success of NEWater, water technology hubSingapore now turns to technological innovations inwastewater management with the help of private sectorpartners.
New Wastewater Technology
Singapore is fastbecoming theleader in waterand wastewatertechnologies.Since the successof NEWater,Singapore’s ownbrand of reclaimed orrecycled water, asa major source of water supply, the country’s scientists have been busy withdeveloping and innovating technologies.Together with Siemens, Singapore has been cooking upsomething to make wastewater management more efficient,less costly, and more environment-friendly. Called “TheGreen Machine,it is an innovative process of wastewatertreatment that can be easily adopted, with a little upgradingand expansion, by existing wastewater treatment plants. Itis meant to replace conventional wastewater treatment thatconsumes a lot of energy, generates a lot of sludge, andreleases carbon dioxide, contributing to the globalgreenhouse effect.The Green Machine has comparable COD removal efficiencyas the conventional process. However, it consumes lessenergy, and more importantly helps generate more energyin the form of biogas. It combines contact stabilization withanaerobic digestion to create the hybrid process thatproduces about 50% less sludge than conventionaltreatment.
Water Technology Hub
Global city Singapore is home to about 4.5 million peoplethat consume some 300 million gallons of water per day,not counting the tourists that arrive by the tens of thousands daily. Lack of water in this small, multi-culturalcountry could have serious repercussions, but as early asthe 1970s, Singapore has foreseen its freshwater sourcesproblem.Singapore’s Public Utilities Board (PUB) built a pilot waterreclamation plant in 1974, but implementation plans wereshelved because of huge costs and unreliable technology. Itwasn’t until 1998 that the project was revived through a joint initiative between PUB and the Ministry of Environmentand Water Resources. The 1998 Singapore Water Reclamation Study (or NEWaterStudy) clinched the deal on NEWater as a raw waterresource to supplement the country’s water supply. NEWateris a product of stringent purification and treatmentprocesses capable of making sewage water clean, clear, andsparkling.PUB started adding NEWater into its reservoirs at about 1%of total daily consumption following an evaluation by anExpert Panel from the National University of Singapore thatgave the go-signal for indirect potable use. PUB plans toincrease this to about 2.5% of total daily consumption by2011.The Green Machine Project was financially supported by theEconomic Development Board, Environment & WaterIndustry Development Council
The Green Machine
In essence, the Green Machine is a combination of twoprocesses:
a physiochemical process that occursnaturally in certain biomass, which allows it topassively concentrate and bind contaminants onto itscellular structure. It provides an economicalalternative for removing toxic heavy metals fromindustrial wastewater and aid in environmentalremediation.
Anaerobic digestion
, a series of processes in whichmicroorganisms break down biodegradable material inthe absence of oxygen, used for industrial ordomestic purposes to manage waste and/or torelease energy.In this hybridprocess, organicmatter isabsorbed into themicrobial flocsurface duringcontactstabilization andretention time iscontrolled beforemicrobes havetime to degradethe organics. Microbes carry the adsorbed organics into theanaerobic digestor where biogas is generated. The GreenMachine offers:

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