Will Japanese technology keep To Lich River clean in the long term?

Nguyen Thi Hoa, a resident living on Hoang Quoc Viet Street, is enjoying a rare reprieve from the rotten smell that has plagued the neighbourhood for decades.

Hanoi starts To Lich River cleanup with Japanese technology
Japan to help treat polluted To Lich River
Nanotechnology reduces odour on To Lich River

Will Japanese technology keep To Lich River clean in the long term?
Environment workers collect mud and water samples from the To Lich River to examine the effectiveness of Japanese technology that is being piloted and aims to clean up the heavily polluted river.

The polluted To Lich River is undergoing experimental treatment with Japanese technology to restore the purity of a river long considered ‘a dead river’ and a serious health hazard.

“The putrid odour gets even worse during hot, sunny days,” Hoa told Vietnam News Agency.

“As someone living by the river, we really hope the To Lich cleanup project will yield results and our concerns for so many years will finally clear up.”

Nearly two weeks after the nano-biotechnology began cleaning a 300m stretch of the river, residents have reported a noticeably improved smell and clearer water.

Clean river

According to Hanoi’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, 240 sewage outflows are emptied into the 15km river that courses through many several districts of the capital city.
The river receives some 150,000cu.m of wastewater daily, with a third of this volume untreated industrial wastewater.

Having been cut off from the Red River and West Lake during the French colonial era and urban expansion narrowing the river has only made the pollution worse.

Without a proper exchange of water, thick sludge has accumulated on the riverbed and is the primary source of the river’s pollution.

Dr Tadashi Yamamura, UN environment expert and President of the Japan Environment and Trade Promotion Organisation, who has brought up the project in a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and worked with Hanoi's authorities to obtain permission to pilot the project, said the nano-bioreactor has proved its worth in similar cases in Japan, China and the US and believed their technology could be of use here after two years of surveying.

“In Vietnam, one of the biggest problems with the To Lich River is the thick sludge at its bed that is the source of the smell, and this could be solved by the nano bioreactor,” he said.

The technology involves two main components – nano air blowers and nano-bioreactor panels made from porous volcanic rocks in Japan.

According to Tadashi Yamamura, the bioreactor panels serve to “activate” the micro-organisms in the water, encouraging them to break down H2O particles to release oxygen.

With the increased level of oxygen in the water, fish and other water creatures can thrive.

The air blowers, pumping nano air bubbles into the mud, are meant to prevent mud settling down on the riverbed.

The system, which is also being piloted at a corner of the city's West Lake, could be seen as “a wastewater treatment facility” on the riverbed, the Japanese expert said.

“We use electricity to run the air blowers, after the river reaches a certain level of purity, the blowers might just need to run for 15 minutes each hour, or for a total of six hours a day,” he said, adding that a conventional facility would need to run 24/7.

The system also doesn’t cost much or require land to build on, while it can clean 1.3 million of cu.m of water a day, nine times the amount of wastewater discharged into the river daily, Dr Yamamura said.

 

Do Thanh Bai, deputy chair and general secretary of the Chemical Society of Vietnam, said he and many Vietnamese colleagues are “thrilled” with the project.

There is no telling for sure whether the river can be completely cleaned but Bai said he believes in the Japanese technology.

“It must be the real deal when they are so confident. There has not been anyone tackling the To Lich issue who dared to make such a claim before,” Bai said.

Will Japanese technology keep To Lich River clean in the long term?
A nano air blower installed on To Lich River that aims to increase oxygen levels in the water.

Time needed

However, not everyone is convinced and some have voiced concerns about the long-term viability over the project, especially over the possibility that the river might need constant pumping of air to avoid pollution.

Dao Trong Tu, director of Viet Nam River Network, an organisation which aims to protect rivers in the country, said the Japanese technology is not anything novel and many methods have been tested on polluted lakes and rivers across the country, including the To Lich River, but the results failed to live up to the high expectations.

“If the technology’s endgame is to improve the smell or the colour of the river’s water, then it is nothing new. Everyone knows how a pond or a lake’s water can be cleared up significantly if treated with alum,” Tu said.

He also noted how it would be more complicated as the To Lich is no longer a true river, given that the freshwater supply that goes into the lake is dwarfed by other sources, namely wastewater and rainwater.

Tu remarked that if the issue of wastewater discharges into the river is not dealt with, any solution would just be temporary.

In the short-term, Hanoians might no longer have to turn up their nose at the rancid smell, especially during the hot summer, but testing is needed before declaring the project successful, he added.

Pham Van Cuong, former director of Hanoi’s water discharge project management unit, said the city is building the 4,800ha Yen Xa wastewater treatment factory with daily capacity of 270,000cu.m.

Once operational, the facility would collect and handle all wastewater discharged from households alongside the To Lich River, which means the river would no longer have to bear the polluted water, Cuong said.

City authorities are also considering pumping water from West Lake to flush out the pollution from the To Lich River.

Previously, Le Cong Thanh, deputy minister of environment and natural resources, said the Japanese technology being piloted at To Lich River is merely a test and the results remain to be seen.

“The ministry has assigned relevant units to constantly monitor the water’s quality and assess the efficiency as well as the practicality of the technology,” Thanh said.

According to the environment ministry, the pilot project will go on for two months with expenses borne by the Japanese side.

Will Japanese technology keep To Lich River clean in the long term?
The stretch of To Lich River near Hoang Quoc Viet Street was choosen as the site for the cleanup operation project by Japan. — VNA/VNS Photos Huy Hung

VNS

 
 

Other News

.
Network operators are not doing enough to prevent spam calls, texts
Network operators are not doing enough to prevent spam calls, texts
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  22/12/2020 

Millions of fake calls and tens of thousand of subscribers in the last five months were handled, but network operators do not appear to be sufficiently determined to fight against spam calls.

Vietnam's opening of internet leads to digital transformation path
Vietnam's opening of internet leads to digital transformation path
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  21/12/2020 

Vietnam has gained major achievements after more than 20 years of opening its doors to the internet. 

Wildlife conservation contributors to be honoured
Wildlife conservation contributors to be honoured
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  21/12/2020 

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will honour organisations and individuals that have made great contributions to wildlife conservation between 2010 and 2020.

5G equipment ownership has a national strategic meaning
5G equipment ownership has a national strategic meaning
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  21/12/2020 

The ownership of 5G equipment has a national strategic meaning, heard at a recent seminar on 5G in Hanoi.

Life-changing technology assists Vietnam’s healthcare transformation
Life-changing technology assists Vietnam’s healthcare transformation
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/12/2020 

The Vietnamese government and the Ministry of Health will hold a conference called eHealth Vietnam Summit 2020 late this month.

Small contributions, big impact
Small contributions, big impact
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/12/2020 

“Changing Mindset Little by Little” is what Denise Truong, a French Chinese lady, is trying to leave through her Trash Hero Ho Chi Minh project here in HCMC

World’s most endangered turtle found in Hanoi's Dong Mo lake
World’s most endangered turtle found in Hanoi's Dong Mo lake
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/12/2020 

The Vietnamese scientists are doing their utmost to save the endangered turtle species.

Vietnam video-on-demand industry estimated at $105 million in 2020
Vietnam video-on-demand industry estimated at $105 million in 2020
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/12/2020 

Two thirds of marketers in Vietnam expected an increase in the allocation of the digital ad budget to programmatic ad next year, the 2nd highest percentage in the region.

Vietnam destined to take the lead in commercial 5G technology
Vietnam destined to take the lead in commercial 5G technology
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/12/2020 

The number of 5G subscribers nationwide is expected to reach a figure of 6.3 million by 2025, with the deployment of 5G services anticipated to help Vietnamese mobile service providers increase their annual revenue by US$300 million, 

PM approves list of priority technologies for research and development
PM approves list of priority technologies for research and development
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/12/2020 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved a list of priority technologies for research and development in a bid to facilitate participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Facebook is blamed for going against Vietnam law
Facebook is blamed for going against Vietnam law
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/12/2020 

Facebook is accused of ignoring Vietnam’s law in removing and blocking violated entries on social network.

HCM City drafts 10-year climate change response plan
HCM City drafts 10-year climate change response plan
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/12/2020 

HCM City has drafted a long-term plan to combat the detrimental effects of climate change.

5G service package fees to be the same as 4G
5G service package fees to be the same as 4G
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/12/2020 

The fifth-generation mobile network is under commercial trial in Hanoi and HCM City. Vietnam is among the few countries in the world that have put 5G into trial use.

Thanh Hoa farmer protects wild birds with his love
Thanh Hoa farmer protects wild birds with his love
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  21/12/2020 

Mai Van Quan has invested his own money to renovate part of a 22-hectare hill in Ha Trung Town, the central province of Thanh Hoa, to become a shelter for tens of thousands of storks.

Young man starts initiative to reduce plastic waste
Young man starts initiative to reduce plastic waste
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  20/12/2020 

Pham Thanh Tri from Quang Ngai founded EcoFish Vietnam to teach young people to classify and reuse plastic waste.

First persons receive injections of COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam
First persons receive injections of COVID-19 vaccine in Vietnam
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  18/12/2020 

The first human trial of COVID-19 vaccine Nanocovax began in Vietnam on December 17 with the first three volunteers, one man and two women aged 20-25, receiving injections at the Military Medical Academy.

Digital transformation needs new 'ways of thinking' at provincial, local level
Digital transformation needs new 'ways of thinking' at provincial, local level
FEATUREicon  18/12/2020 

A difficult question can often become easier if a new approach is used, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung told representatives of Thai Nguyen agencies pursuing the path to digital transformation.

Vietnamese can earn big money from livestreaming sales
Vietnamese can earn big money from livestreaming sales
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  19/12/2020 

Live streaming e-commerce has become a hot keyword in Vietnam. Experts have begun talking about the formation of a ‘livestreaming industry’.

Livestream industry: a way out for Vietnam's digital economy
Livestream industry: a way out for Vietnam's digital economy
FEATUREicon  17/12/2020 

The combination of livestreams and e-commerce could create an industry worth tens of billions of US dollars. This promises to be a very important element in the development of the digital economy.

Digital transformation in Vietnam: from aspiration to reality
Digital transformation in Vietnam: from aspiration to reality
SCI-TECH & ENVIRONMENTicon  17/12/2020 

The internet had made positive contributions to the overall socio-economic development of the country since Vietnam connected to the Internet for the first time 20 years ago,

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN