Saigon spends big on pipeline in bid to plug leaking water

By Huu Cong   November 15, 2017 | 05:34 pm GMT+7
Saigon spends big on pipeline in bid to plug leaking water
A water pipe in downtown Ho Chi Minh City is broken when the city work on a construction project in 2016. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Nguyen

The city is losing almost 600,000 cubic meters of clean water every day due to old pipes.

Ho Chi Minh City has started laying out the groundwork for a water pipeline that will run over 10 kilometers (6 miles) from its outskirts to the inner-city.

Saigon Water Corporation (Sawaco), the city's main water supplier, is working on the project with French contractor Vinci Construction Grands Projets - Bessac CW1.

The estimated cost of the project, which is expected to take three and a half years to complete, is $154 million, of which $138 million will be covered by loans from the Asian Development Bank.

The pipeline, stretching from Thu Duc to Binh Thanh, will replace an existing pipeline that has ruptured on multiple occasions, and expand Sawaco's water network around the city.

Running under the Saigon River and three canals, it will be the biggest pipeline in the city and will replace the current one that has been in use for 50 years.

According to Sawaco, the new pipeline will help stem leakage from 28 percent to 23 percent by 2020.

Old pipes have been blamed for losing the city up to 556,000 cubic meters of clean water per day, or VND3 billion to put it in perspective.

Thousands of families in outlying districts of Saigon have relied on ground water for years, a source that has been running short and become polluted recently.