Deep Tunnel Superhighway

3 May 2013                          

If you thought the only major tunneling work going on underground was to build a new MRT line, you thought wrong. We all know that thousands of miles of sewers lie beneath us, but most of us probably don’t know that we humans aren’t the only ones getting a highly-complex transport system. Used water is getting one too. Called the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS), this modern system is expected to collect and treat used water effectively for the next 100 years.

You must be wondering why we need such a fancy tunnel just for sewerage, especially when there are thousands of sewer pipes that are already doing a similar job.

Yes, both of them transport waste water to a treatment centre before they can be discharged. However, unlike the traditional system, the DTSS centralizes the water collection, treatment and disposal. Before the DTSS, many pumping stations and water reclamation plants were needed, and with Singapore becoming more urbanized by the day, constant expansion of the old system would cost a lot of money, and more importantly, a lot of land.

There are two phases to the DTSS project, boringly named Phase 1 and Phase 2.

I doubt it’d still look like this when it gets used.

 The first phase of the DTSS project was completed in 2008, and comprises of a huge 48km deep tunnel sewer that runs from Kranji to Changi. That’s longer than the North-South MRT Line! The second phase would link tunnels from the city area to Tuas. Water would then be treated at either the Changi or the Tuas Water Reclamation Plant before it is discharged into the sea or sent to the NEWater Factory for further purification into NEWater, where it would start life again as clean, usable water.

By Jax Sparrow


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