Existing open air Sewage plant

Thimphu’s new sewage treatment plant to end that bad smell by 2019

You are driving along the expressway or visiting a friend or family member in Babesa and before you know it the odour of the open air sewage plant hits you. It is much worse for local residents who have to live with the ‘bad smell’ in the area.

 The three acre land for the new sewage treatment plant
The three acre land for the new sewage treatment plant

Well this may now be a thing of the past by 2019.

Thimphu city’s new sewage treatment plant in Babesa, the construction of which has begun, will have a system to control unpleasant odours and occupy much less area than the present open sewerage ponds.

The new plant will also have a much higher capacity to treat waste water, 12 million litres per day (MLD), as compared to the 1.75 litres per day of the existing open lagoon system (OLS).

Thimphu Thromde has settled for the Sequential Batch Reactor (SBR) plant, where all phases of the treatment process occur sequentially within the same tank.

The contract worth USD 13.62 million dollars, funded by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government, was awarded to Technofab Engineering Limited, an Indian engineering and construction company in October 2016.

The company is currently engaged in construction of staff quarters and office building and construction of treatment plant and pumping station will begin soon. The project is expected to be completed by June 2019.

“As the wastewater discharge standards are getting more and more stringent the existing system, the oldest and popular method for wastewater treatment, faces severe challenges,” said a Thimphu Thromde official.

“The SBRs, due to its operational flexibility and excellent process control possibilities, are being extensively used for treatment of wastewater around the world. The use of the SBR has also found wide acceptance in biological treatment of industrial wastewater.”

The thromde’s ADB project manager, Kinley Penjore, said the existing treatment plant occupies 13 acres but the new plant will occupy only three acres.

The future office building for the new sewage plant
The future office building for the new sewage plant

An Odour Control System will control the unpleasant smell from the plant.

“South and more than half of central Thimphu uses the treatment plant in Babesa.

All households and businesses located in the area including Chang Jiji and Changedaphu that have their sewer lines connected to the treatment plant will benefit,” he said.

“We have a MBBR (Moving Bed Biological Reactor) treatment plant at Dechencholing with financial assistance from World Bank.”

A Thromde official said that whenever it rains the throm area is flooded with sewerage due to sewer line congestion. “We are hoping that this new treatment plant would resolve the health risk caused by liquid waste and sanitation problems,” he said.

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