SDB's Sungai Satu rehabilitation project lauded by Penang govt

PENANG: Selangor Dredging Bhd's (SDB) RM2 million Sungai Satu river rehabilitation project in Penang has won the endorsement of the Penang government.  

Chief minister Lim Guan Eng, who launched the project on June 10, urged the adoption of the cutting-edge sustainable technology used by SDB to treat other polluted rivers in Penang. He added that the project is directly in line with the Penang government's aim to make Penang a destination of choice not only for tourists but also a habitat of choice for residents who desire sustainable living.

SDB managing director Teh Lip Kim said the rehabilitation project will not only benefit By The Sea's residents, as the river runs along the development, but also serve as a source of education on sustainability for children.

SDB is the first private developer in Malaysia to undertake such a rehabilitation project, which took about seven months to complete. The system is placed along a 200m stretch of its residential development, By The Sea.

The system aims to treat and improve the water quality of the river. A water analysis taken at the start of the project found the water was at an unhealthy level of three to four times the Malaysian standard for recreational water and its main pollutants are phosphorus, nitrate and ammonia.

Using a chain of bio-engineering technology, the system is made up of three dedicated parts — collection of litter using a floating boom, the deposition of suspended solids and finally, the removal of nutrients. All parts operate on environmentally friendly mechanics.

More than 500 plants have been planted, creating a wetland treatment area to absorb the ammonia, nitrates and other pollutants in the water. The Germany-based bio-engineering technology uses products such as rock rolls, stones mattress, erosion control blankets as well as sand and plants for treatment.

Commenting on the possibility of the government using the technology to treat other rivers in the state, Lim said it will look into the matter and get initial assessments on the rivers to see if such projects will be feasible.

By The Sea, which has a gross development value of RM230 million, comprises 138 apartment suites. With built-ups of between 1,030 sq ft and 3,038 sq ft, the units are priced at RM1.2 million onwards. It has sold 72% to date since its launch in November 2011.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on June 21, 2013.

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