A new technology is being tested for its potential to treat drinking water in Singapore

A $5 million water treatment plant, which will use ceramic membrane technology to treat drinking water, has been built at the Choa Chu Kang Waterworks after two years of planning.

The “demonstration plant” is funded by a grant from the Environment and Water Industry Programme Office under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Raw water will be drawn from the Kranji, Pandan and reservoirs in the western catchment area, which includes the Tengah, Poyan, Murai and Sarimbun Reservoirs. The plant is able to treat 1.2 million litres of water a day. Its performance will be tested over 18 months.

Untreated water in Singapore is currently filtered through polymeric membranes. The ceramic membrane has a projected lifespan of 20 years, four times longer than the polymeric membrane.The initial cost of building a ceramic treatment plant is higher but potential savings come in the long term, largely due to the durability of the ceramic membrane.

As a result, PUB said that ozone can also be added to disinfect water. According to PWN Technologies, which built the plant, its ceramic membrane technology also has a lower energy consumption compared to conventional treatment methods.This could mean cheaper or more readily available drinking water in Singapore as the population grows, even while the world’s supply of potable water shrinks.