Singapore PUB begins tunnelling works on DTSS Phase 2 project

WCN Editorial Team 5 Apr 2019 ASIA ENERGY & UTILITIES

Public Utilities Board (PUB), a statutory board of Singapore’s Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, has reached closer to the completion of the Deep Tunnel Sewerage System (DTSS) Phase 2 project.

PUB has launched the first tunnel boring machine (TBM), marking the start of DTSS Phase 2 tunnelling works, officiated by Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli.

The board said that the underground superhighway is a world-class used water management system that protects the environment, public health and water sources.

DTSS is a $10bn infrastructure project first conceived 25 years ago, and once completed, it is expected to improve Singapore’s water sustainability by reclaiming and recycling water in an endless cycle.

The first TBM for DTSS Phase 2 is named after the Jalan Bahar work site, where it is lowered into a shaft and creates a 3.5m-diameter tunnel 42m below ground.

PUB said that a total of 19 TBMs are intended to be used for the DTSS project to dig at depths ranging from 35m and 55m below ground and seabed, to create deep tunnels and link sewers ranging from 3m to 6m in diameter.

PUB said that it pioneers the use of a Vertical Shaft Sinking Machine (VSM) to construct the shaft, which is an innovative method that allows the shaft construction and excavation to be taken up simultaneously, compared to conventional methods.

PUB CEO Ng Joo Hee said: “For us in Singapore, used water is also a source of good water. We do not waste a drop of it. In fact, we collect every drop of our sewage and turn much of it into potable water again, in the form of NEWater.

“The DTSS is Singapore’s very innovative way of collecting our wastewater, on a national scale, in a safe, efficient and reliable way. Because of it, we are able to reuse and recycle water endlessly.”

PUB is expected to use a smart tunnel monitoring system, Shaft and Tunnel Excavation System (STEMS), during tunnelling to provide real-time updates of the TBM locations and instrumentation readings, ensuring safe and smooth operations throughout the construction period with minimal disruption to the structures in the immediate vicinity.

Furthermore, fibre optic sensors are embedded within the tunnel lining to monitor structural integrity and detect problems before they become potential risks.

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Image: Singaporean statutory board of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Public Utilities Board (PUB). Photo: Courtesy of PUB.

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