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Black & Veatch completes world's largest membrane treatment facility in Singapore
uses innovative siphonic action

Singapore (Jan. 2, 2004) – Black & Veatch announced the full commissioning of its Chestnut Avenue Water Works (CAWW) extension project for the Public Utilities Board (PUB) of Singapore. Black & Veatch provided study, pilot testing, design, and supervision of construction, testing and start-up for the CAWW extension, which was completed on a fast-track schedule in two years. The 72-million- gallon-per-day treatment works is now the largest potable water treatment facility in the world incorporating membrane filtration.

The project recently earned the top prize of the Association of Consulting Engineers Singapore’s (ACES) Design Excellence Awards for 2003.

The facility uses: 

·       An immersed membrane system – a first in Singapore.

·       A gravity-driven system for membrane filtration, reducing pumping costs.

·       Cutting-edge process control systems.

·       IT and project management tools for maximum project efficiency in all stages of development.

“A typical immersed membrane plant requires filtrate pumps to provide the necessary pressure across the membranes,” said Tse Yau Shing, Black & Veatch CAWW project director. “Instead, Black & Veatch employed the use of efficient siphonic action to draw flow through the membranes to significantly simplify the ultrafiltration membrane plant design, replacing variable-speed filtrate pumps with simple control valves. The CAWW installation is the world’s first large-scale plant in this respect.”  

The siphon system offers savings in pumping costs compared to the normal variable-speed pumping system and in lower maintenance costs by requiring fewer pumps and associated electrical controls. 

The CAWW control system is a hybrid design with a programmable logic control/supervisory control and data acquisition (PLC/SCADA) system in a hierarchical structure, integrated with a distributed control system (DCS) architecture. The CAWW is Singapore’s first water works to incorporate a large fieldbus network, called Profibus, to control individual process trains and equipment that contain complex instrumentation and algorithms. Profibus provides cost and time savings compared to traditional PLC/SCADA setups. 

Uses dual redundant self-healing rings 

“Another first for the CAWW is the use of dual redundant self-healing rings on the main control network running at 100 million bits per second,” said Tse Yau Shing. “The self-healing ring topology overcomes single-point failures by using Hirshman Ethernet switches. While other projects have employed a self-healing methodology, CAWW is the first to use dual redundant rings to cater to multiple breakages and scalability of network speed to gigabit levels.”

Because the project is near a nature reserve, Black & Veatch devoted planning resources to preserving trees and minimizing disturbances to the natural habitat of animals. The design minimized the number of trees affected by construction so as to maintain the habitat of a resident colony of banded leaf monkeys.

Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, construction and consulting company specializing in infrastructure development in the fields of energy, water and information. Founded in 1915, Black & Veatch serves its clients with conceptual and preliminary engineering services, engineering design, procurement, construction, financial management, asset management, information technology, environmental, security design and consulting, and management consulting services.

 The company’s Web site address is www.bv.com.