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A salute to PUB’s team at Ulu Pandan Water Reclamation Plant

Energy-efficiency, sustainable operations wowed delegates of the Biofilm Matrix Symposium, especially Elton Lim, SCELSE’s PhD student, who shares more in this blog.

Read on for a sharing by Elton Lim (2nd from left), SCELSE’s PhD student, on the complexities of this water reclamation plant at Ulu Pandan.

  • Featured
  • 14 Apr 2024

I’ve never been to a PUB water treatment plant and was really excited for the opportunity to do so when I signed up for the Biofilm Matrix Symposium. This visit offered a comprehensive insight into the operations of water treatment plants in Singapore and emphasised the pivotal role of PUB in ensuring a sustainable water supply for our nation.

My background in marine science has sparked my interest in learning more about the processes of water treatment and management. This curiosity stems from recognising the harmful effects untreated wastewater can pose to our aquatic environments.

The tour surpassed my expectations in numerous aspects. It provided an invaluable opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge of PUB’s innovative approaches and technologies aimed at upholding water quality and sustainability standards.

Understanding the overall water treatment cycle—from intake to distribution—was truly enlightening and showcased PUB’s unwavering commitment to excellence in every stage of the process. I was particularly awed by PUB’s energy efficiencies. Because of the high energy consumption of water treatment, PUB has harnessed green energy such as biogas and optimised pumping systems to reduce carbon emissions.

I was also wowed by PUB’s utilisation of groundbreaking research (membrane bioreactors) to enhance energy efficiency in used water treatment; its integration of new findings into operational practices for sustainable water management; and its deployment of large-scale digesters to convert organic material into biogas for electricity generation.

I now appreciate the complexities of water treatment processes and look forward to future tours that showcase how research contributes to the development of new sustainability initiatives.

Kudos to Dr Ng Jiawei, General Manager of Ulu Pandan WRP, and his knowledgeable team for answering all the deep science questions.

This visit took place on the first day of the Biofilm Matrix Symposium that was held from 6-8 March 2024.