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Social Innovation

  • Water
  • Life & Economy

This case study was released in March 2013, prior to the merger of Hitachi Plant Technologies with Hitachi, Ltd. The company is renamed as Hitachi, Ltd. Infrastructure Systems Company (Sri Lanka Branch Office).


Residents of Sri Lanka's second largest city enjoy a plentiful supply of safe drinking water.

Overview: Residents of Sri Lanka's second largest city enjoy a plentiful supply of safe drinking water.

In this video: Mr P.H. Sarath Gamini, Project Director, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) and Mr. M. S. Pinto, Chief Engineer, Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd. (Sri Lanka), talks about the challenges and solutions of constructing water treatment system in Kandy City.

In 1997, the demand for water in Sri Lanka's Central Province, Greater Kandy, had far outgrown the amount of clean water that was supplied by the existing water treatment plants. The escalating water shortfall within the city of Kandy and in the northern part of Greater Kandy was particularly worrying. Furthermore, even for districts with water treatment facilities, the supply of water had to be rationed to certain days and hours due to supply capacity restrictions. The irregular access to clean water supply meant that crucial operations of the healthcare and tourism industry were greatly impeded and the livelihood of many Sri Lankans was affected too.

A pressing need for an advanced water treatment system to meet the growing demand for clean water of the population was called for. In view of Hitachi Plant Technologies' expertise in building advanced pump systems projects, the company, together with Taisei Corporation, was selected by the Sri Lankan government to construct an advanced water treatment system facility.

Overview

  • Challenge
    Challenges of the water supply project in Greater Kandy: To supply a large volume of treated water to the growing population in Sri Lanka, To support with durable pumps that would be functioning without disruptions, To monitor and control the process of water treatment over multiple sites in the region
  • Solution
    Solutions delivered by Hitachi Plant Technologies: Delivery of quality pumps that ensure durability in the lifetime of the water treatment system, SCADA system that enables the monitoring of the water treatment process in multiple sites, training of local engineers in the operation of the water treatment plants
  • Result
    The constant availability of clean water in Greater Kandy today is a great improvement from its past.

Challenge

Rising Demand for Clean Water: Challenges of Kandy's water needs

The expanding population in the Central province of Sri Lanka had far outstripped the threshold that the supply of available potable water could support. Water supply was available only once every week, thus the people of Greater Kandy had to rely on either large water storage tanks to store water or to go to remote wells to collect water. The lack of access to clean water impeded economic growth to Greater Kandy as one of its significant sources of revenue came from the tourism industry.

It was predicted by the 2001 Sri Lanka census that rapid population growth in the Greater Kandy area was definite, making the augmentation of clean water supply to the area a pressing need for the people. The Sri Lankan government decided to implement a water supply project to increase the clean water supply to the people of Greater Kandy. Mr. PH Sarath Gamini, project director of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) called for a project tender with the following requirements.


Supply of water to the growing population in Greater Kandy

At the request of the Sri Lankan government, a study was conducted by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to determine the feasibility of increasing the supply of potable water to the Greater Kandy area. The study revealed that a project to augment the supply of potable water had to face up to several engineering challenges. The narrow and meandering roads as well as the harsh state of access lines to service reservoir sites increased the complexity in the construction of pipelines.


The mechanical and electrical engineering component of the project was very important for its success, and we have to select a competent contractor for it

Mr P.H. Sarath Gamini
Project Director, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB)



Support with durable pumps that would function without disruptions

In the past, a water treatment plant that was constructed in 1989 mainly supplied clean water to the area. The project was called the Kandy Municipality water supply project.

Apart from the insufficient water capacity provided by the previous water treatment plant, the quality of the pumps were unreliable which caused frequent pipe bursts that disrupted the supply of water to the locals. The presence of sand in the water wore down the pumps, which also led to the bursting of pipes. It was expensive to repair the situation each time a pipe burst occurred, hence an important requirement laid down by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) of the Sri Lankan government was to have the successful project bidder ensure the quality of its pumps.

The project director of National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB)'s goal was to increase the capacity of water supply to meet the needs of the rising population of Kandy City and of the Greater Kandy area. Upon the completion of the project, it was imperative for the area to have uninterrupted access to clean water supply as that would steer the economic growth of the area through better public health, a more vibrant tourism industry as well as the improved living condition of the locals.


The quality of the previous pump system was not durable, as the sand that had entered the system soon led to its wear and tear.

Mr. M. S. Pinto, Chief Engineer
Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd. (Sri Lanka)



Monitor and control the process of water treatment over multiple sites in the region

The enormous scale of the project meant that the monitoring of the water treatment process would incur high operating costs. A great number of personnel had to be hired to inspect the site regularly so as to ensure the smooth operation of the treatment process.

Another key requirement that NWSDB had laid out was to have a low operation and maintenance cost upon the project completion. Being able to monitor the status of the water treatment process efficiently was an engineering challenge that the Hitachi engineers had to undertake. They were to design and construct a water treatment supply system using only the most advanced practices. But importantly, there was now promise of clean water for the people of Greater Kandy.

Solution

Hitachi's Advanced Water Treatment System

The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) of Sri Lanka highlighted certain requirements that the new water treatment system had to fulfill. The new water treatment system that was constructed had to supply a large volume of treated water to the growing population in Greater Kandy. In addition, there had to be little maintenance work necessary upon the completion of the project through the procurement of high quality pumps. As the supply of treated water was important to future economic growth in the area, there must not be any disruption in its supply. Hitachi Plant Technologies understood the importance in the successful delivery of the project and set out to bring about solutions that would meet the pressing needs of the Sri Lankan population.


Delivery of quality pumps

Under Phase I, Stage I, an Intake structure was constructed to obtain water from the Mahaweli River. The transmission pipeline was 700mm in diameter and it was to be built across the Mahaweli River. A pump bridge was constructed at Gohagoda for the purpose of pumping water across the bridge. The water would then be purified at a treatment plant that was constructed at Katugastota and the purified water would then be distributed to service reservoirs through a 26.5 km pipeline in the greater Kandy area. Besides the need to supply large volume of water to the Greater Kandy region, the pumping station also had to be able to pump water up to elevated areas within Kandy such as Kurugoda.

To meet the sophisticated challenges of the project, Hitachi Plant Technologies chose pumps that were of the highest quality to ensure the smooth delivery of water to its required location. The distribution system of water in the project was extensive and there were several opportunities for lapses had there not been excellent quality in the pump system of Hitachi Plant Technologies. Since its inception in 2006, the water treatment system built by Hitachi is still functioning at high performance without any disruption.



Hitachi selected high quality pumps from Japan for the project. And in the six years of operation since its completion, there is not a single issue with the water treatment system.

Mr. M. S. Pinto, Chief Engineer,
Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd. (Sri Lanka)



Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA)

As the project was massive in nature with the pumping facilities and reservoirs spanning a wide area, it was important to have a central control system to monitor the status of the facilities. Hitachi constructed a SCADA system that is currently situated in NWSDB headquarters with trained operators currently monitoring it. One of the main benefits of the SCADA system is that the water losses in existing systems could be identified that would call for immediate remedies.

The SCADA system consists of several subsystems that operate together. Firstly a computer system acquires data of the process taking place in the facilities. There are remote terminal units that are attached to the sensors in the process. They are responsible for transmitting the digital data to the supervisory computer system. It also comprises of a communication network that is used for the transmission of data between the supervisory system and the remote terminal units. Finally, the process data and the analysis of the facilities are displayed on an interface in real-time. Through the interface, the trained operators gain access to critical diagnostic data so as to monitor and control the process more effectively.

Through the implementation of the SCADA system, the preservation of the limited clean water resource is enhanced. Also, maximum utility could be derived from the money spent out of foreign loans and this helps with the future expansion of the pipe borne water supply facility to the rest of the Sri Lankan population.



They have trained our people and even though it's outside of the contract, they were able to help us, especially in the operation of the SCADA system, which is new to our country.

Mr P.H. Sarath Gamini
Project Director, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB)

Result

Enhancing the Quality of Life in Greater Kandy

The project has far exceeded the expectations of Mr P.H. Sarath Gamini, the project director from the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB). It was noteworthy that the project kept within the budgeted amount.

Besides, the amount of water supplied had served the target population of this project well. The constant availability of clean water in Greater Kandy today is a great improvement from its past. Mr. Gamini and other Sri Lankans that resided in Kandy had witnessed numerous positive impacts contributed by the project. These included the improvement to both the public health and the business environment in Kandy. The tourism industry is flourishing with investors showing confidence in the area with the reliable supply of clean water.


In the six years of operation since the project's completion, there had not been a single case of disruption.

Mr P.H. Sarath Gamini
Project Director, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB)


Promoting the awareness of the importance of procurement of quality goods and services

The successful implementation of the project coincided with Mr. Gamini's belief in the importance of procuring quality goods. While a lower cost option might be attractive in the near term to the authorities, the procurement of quality goods and equipment will prove to be the more prudent choice in the long term. He had identified that the cause for leakages to be due to poor quality pipes and fittings as well as poor pipe laying practices. Most of the fittings in the past did not have performance-based indicators nor quality-based test results. And as there were no specifications and guidelines that were followed by the plumbers and pipe fitters, these led to the imminent leakages.

On a mission to establish a system that reduces water leakages, Mr. Gamini leads a campaign that promotes the awareness of the importance of procuring quality goods and services to the identified stakeholders within the government. Hitachi Plant Technologies is proud to deliver an effective water treatment system that had proved to offer better economic value to NWSDB.


Hitachi has achieved our requirements such as procuring quality goods and equipment, training our staff and of providing long-term sustainable service. Procuring quality goods and services such as what Hitachi has achieved will ensure the sustainability of a long-term benefit.

Mr P.H. Sarath Gamini
Project Director, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB)

Hitachi, Ltd. Infrastructure Systems Company (Sri Lanka Branch Office)

Hitachi Plant Technologies, being the core branch of the Hitachi Group in the field of infrastructure systems is the driving force behind the global expansion of the infrastructure system group and is striving to reinforce and expand the group's ability to provide total solutions that resolve all issues.

In April 2013, Hitachi Plant Technologies merged with Hitachi, Ltd. and is renamed as Hitachi, Ltd. Infrastructure Systems Company (Sri Lanka Branch Office).

Hitachi, Ltd. Infrastructure Systems Company (Sri Lanka Branch Office) and other local subsidiaries were established to promote and achieve an autonomous, dispersed and rapid global expansion, as well as provide services that are focused on the particular needs of each individual customer.

For more information on water solutions, please visit Hitachi Drinking Water Treatment Systems Solution.

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