Singapore’s used-water superhighway

One of the world’s largest and most innovative water treatment projects is the Changi water reclamation plant, opened in June by the Public Utilities Board, Singapore's national water agency. The plant at the heart of Singapore's massive deep tunnel sewerage system is powered in large part by ABB.

By ABB Communications

Singapore's deep tunnel sewerage system won its second international award in less than 12 months when it was crowned Water Project of the Year at the Global Water Awards 2009 in Switzerland earlier this year.

The combination of ABB high-efficiency motors and variable-speed drives cut the energy consumption of pumping stations substantially and reduce the mechanical and electrical stress on pump components.

Singapore’s prime minister officially opened the compact, state-of-the art Changi water reclamation plant on June 23, which was the highlight of Singapore International Water Week 2009.

ABB played a key role in the water reclamation project by providing extensive power solution packages, as well as automation products such as high-efficiency motors and medium-voltage drives that enable critical parts of the process to operate at the highest levels of energy efficiency and reliability.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s most visionary water projects, the deep tunnel sewerage system is designed to collect, treat and reclaim used water produced by the city-state for the next 100 years.

The system conveys used water from the island’s homes and industries, in the northern and eastern part of Singapore, through a 48-km-long deep tunnel sewer to the centralised water reclamation plant in Changi.

The plant treats up to 800,000 cubic meters (176 million gallons) of used water a day to international standards. The treated water is either discharged five kilometers out to sea through two deep sea pipes, or is sent to the NEWater Factory for further purification into NEWater, Singapore’s own brand of highly purified reclaimed water.

A visionary water treatment system in Singapore

Changi water reclamation plant is one-third the size of comparable water treatment plants, a factor of huge importance for an island-state like Singapore, where space is limited. ABB power and automation products and systems are used throughout the plant. In this treatment system, gravity conveys wastewater through the graded deep water tunnel at a depth of 20 to 55 meters, which eliminates the need for pumping stations. Singapore’s existing water reclamation plants and pumping stations are all being phased out, thereby freeing up large quantities of valuable land.

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of integrated ICE (instrumentation, control and electrical) solutions for the water and wastewater industries and with extensive engineering and project management resources in Singapore, ABB figured prominently in the project.

The huge influent pumping station which receives and screens all the used water from the tunnel before pumping it vertically through the pump shafts 50 meters to the surface is equipped with a complete electrical package of ABB products and systems.

A high-efficiency package
The package includes two substations with highly compact switchgear and transformers, ten 3.5 megawatt high-efficiency motors and water-cooled medium-voltage drives that power and control the huge pumps at exceptional levels of energy efficiency, and water instrumentation and analyzers that measure and monitor flow, pressure and other key parameters.

In fact, throughout the entire used-water treatment process at the Changi water reclamation plant – the liquid and solids treatment modules, sludge drying systems, centrifuges and turbine generators – ABB products and systems (switchgear, transformers, instrumentation, and motors and drives) are powering, monitoring, measuring and controlling crucial process equipment.

And at the effluent pumping station, where energy efficiency is vital, ABB high-efficiency motors and medium-voltage drives power and control the speed of huge pumps that transfer the treated effluent from the plant to the deep-sea outfall five kilometers offshore.

Learn more about Singapore's deep tunnel sewerage system.

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    Singapore's visionary deep tunnel sewerage system is designed to collect, treat and reclaim used water and convey it through a graded, 48km-long deep tunnel sewer to the centralised water reclamation plant in Changi.

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