HCMC fails to get wastewater treatment targets

Ho Chi Minh City has failed to obtain its target for the phase 2011-2015 that 90 percent of new urban areas would have wastewater treatment systems as the rate was only 50 percent by the end of last year.

A corner of Binh Hung wastewater treatment plant (Photo: SGGP)

The city has 42 residential area projects with the area of from 20 hectares and wider each. By the end of last year, 20 came into operation but only half of these had built wastewater treatment system.
Under planning, HCMC has 12 wastewater treatment plants in the valley of canals and rivers. So far, only the first phase of Binh Hung plant has been built with the capacity of 141,000 cubic meters a day.
The plant collects and treats wastewater in districts 1, 3, 5 and 8 and Tau Hu-Ben Nghe and Doi-Te canals. Six plants have yet to complete investment procedures and site clearance to start construction.
HCMC has operated Binh Hung Hoa wastewater treatment station with the capacity of 30,000 cubic meters day in the valley of Tan Hoa-Lo Gom Canal.
The station and Binh Hung Plant, whose capacity totals 171,000 cubic meters a day, have been able to treat 13 percent of household wastewater in the city.
Local authorities attribute the issue to economic crisis and the dependence on foreign capital which has slowed the progress of many wastewater treatment works.
Besides, investors have managed to delay or extend the progress of wastewater treatment systems and cope with environmental inspectors.
The city People’s Committee has instructed the Steering Center of Urban Flood Control Program to implement projects on schedule and call on investment in this field.
The Department of Natural Resources and Environment is responsible for tightening inspection over sources discharging wastewater, strictly handle violators of the Environmental Protection Law and force all new urban areas with area of from 20 hectares or larger to build wastewater treatment systems.

By Hong Ha – Translated by Hai Mien

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