Hanoi,Yen Xa wastewater treatment system,new technology,clean up To Lich River
The polluted To Lich River in Hanoi. — VNA/VNS Photo

This is part of the Yen Xa wastewater treatment system funded by Japanese Official Development Aid (ODA) with the goal of “resurrecting” the capital city’s rivers that are currently overwhelmed with raw sewage, by redirecting the untreated source of pollution to the treatment plant instead of discharging it directly into water sources.

The project includes the construction of the US$680-million Yen Xa wastewater treatment facility in Thanh Tri District with a processing capacity of 270,000 cu.m per day, and three underground sewer systems for the Lu River, Ha Dong District and To Lich River.

The entire length of the pipelines for the project is about 52.6km, with pipe diametres ranging from 315-2,200mm.

The construction of the underground sewer for the To Lich River is the most important component of the four, which will be 21km long including a 11.4km section running through the river from Hoang Quoc Viet Street in Cau Giay District to Quang Bridge in Thanh Tri District – which began on Monday afternoon.

The project is considered to be of key importance as it will collect wastewater from residential areas in the city’s crowded urban districts – Tay Ho, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, Cau Giay and Hai Ba Trung – and parts of the outlying rural districts of Thanh Tri and Ha Dong, in order to keep the To Lich River clean.

A Japanese contractor is in charge of implementing this component.

This component will employ a tunneling method known as pipe jacking, which allows pipes to be laid 6-19m under the river’s bed along a 13km section.


According to Nguyen Van Hung, director of the Hanoi Management Board of Investment, Construction Projects on Water Supply, Drainage and Environment – the main investor of the project, the method caused little disruption to overground activities such as land clearance.

This would be the first time the method had been used in Hanoi, Hung added.

A JICA representative said that due to the importance of the To Lich component, Hanoi’s management board needed to make sure that all of JICA’s measures and guidelines regarding the environment, society and safety would be strictly observed during the implementation of the component.

Nguyen Duc Chung, chairman of Hanoi's People’s Committee, said the components for the project had “basically” met the anticipated progress, but insisted they should be completed ahead of schedule as people had been suffering from pollution in the river for many years now.

To Lich used to be connected to the Red River but became what was colloquially known as ‘dead river’ when there was no water exchange with other freshwater sources while being subject to up to 150,000 cu.m of untreated household wastewater a day, a figure from Hanoi’s environment department revealed.

The project was expected to help address the pollution in the To Lich River and revive the waterway, a long-standing wish of many Hanoians, Chung said, adding that he expected the project to be operational in 2021.  VNS

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

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.

Environment workers clean up To Lich river

Environment workers clean up To Lich river

Environment workers have been striving everyday for cleaning up To Lich river which was once severely polluted.