The River Rehabilitation Project
Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB)
“Profits are no longer the only consideration. We must be able to play our part in helping to make the world a better place.” - Teh Lip Kim, Group Managing Director.
INTRODUCTIONIn ensuring sustainability at BY THE SEA, the SDB development in Penang, the River Rehabilitation Project is part of SDB’s commitment towards rehabilitating and protecting the environment. SUNGAI SATU, the river that flows through the development, has always known to be polluted for years, hence SDB embraced the project to transform the 200-metre stretch that leads out to sea, into an environmentally sustainable and ecological paradise. The project’s main objective is to enhance the ecological and economic sustainability and aesthetic value, by safeguarding the area against probable floods and erosion, to improve the water quality of the river using natural elements, and transform the area into a valuable and enjoyable landscape, which in turn provides a more cleaner and pleasant surroundings for the community.
FRAMEWORK AND STRATEGYWhen SDB was first faced with the challenge of a polluted river, SDB took initiative as a responsible developer, and not only rehabilitated the river, but further enhanced with a system that will ensure it continues to rehabilitate itself in the long-run.
The rehabilitation system works on a 100% self-sustainable and completely environmental-friendly mechanism, which uses natural wetland plants & minimal machinery. The system comprises of 3 dedicated parts: the collection of litter, the deposition of suspended solids, and the natural removal of pollutants by the wetland plants. Using cutting edge sustainable technology, the system aims to treat and improve the water quality using a chain of German-made bio-engineering technology that will aid the collection of litter and suspended solids, using natural products like rock rolls, stone mattresses, erosion control blankets, and sand for treatment, and using wetland plants to remove pollutants from the water. Every plant that was brought in was researched beforehand, to ensure symbiotic relations between them and optimal removal of pollutants. More than 500 plants have been planted creating a wetland treatment area to absorb the ammonia, nitrates and other pollutants in the water before it flows out to sea.
ACHIEVEMENT AND IMPACTAn extensive micro-biological water quality test regime was carried out to determine pollution backgrounds over an extended time period. The rehabilitation system has successfully transformed the Class III upstream river quality into a Class II downstream river quality. The Suspended Solids and Coliform levels are reasonably low, signifying there are no erosion problems and faecal contamination. Hydrological and hydraulic surveys for the river was carried out to determine flood risk.
With this, the rehabilitation system will allow for the use of the river as a natural recreational amenity, by providing sufficient up-stream treatment for the river as a whole. This results to the bio-engineering solutions for river embankment and flood control for the area. Thus, rehabilitating and developing it to a sustainably functioning river ecosystem as a recreational asset for the community.
FUTURE DIRECTIONThrough its various initiatives, SDB has been committed to sustainable development. SDB decided to take on the River Rehabilitation Project, not only to provide the homeowners with an overall living experience, but also do what’s right for the community. SDB is the first private developer in Malaysia to undertake such a project, and this is the first ‘all in one’ environmental-friendly and self-sustainable River Rehabilitation Project in Malaysia, with a philosophy to provide storm flood protection and water treatment, coupled with a strong emphasis on re-greening and ecological restoration. This also integrates it into the holistic design of BY THE SEA, which can be enjoyed by its residents and the public at large, and also serve as a means of education in sustainability for all. The project was endorsed by the Penang government, where the Chief Minister insisted in launching the project and went on to urge the use of sustainable technology to treat and beautify rivers in Penang. He was indeed pleased to see a private developer with a keen interest in such projects which benefit the general public.
Incorporated in 1962, and listed on Bursa Malaysia since 1964, Selangor Dredging Berhad (SDB) is an award-winning Property Developer, who is recognised as a prestigious brand name for their distinguished designs and sustainability of some of the most extraordinary living experiences in Malaysia and Singapore.