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Vientiane factories in need of wastewater treatment

Most factories in Vientiane are in need of wastewater treatment systems, according to a study by the Project for Urban Water Environment Improvement.

The results were revealed at a seminar on Industrial Wastewater Treatment Management held yesterday by the project and Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry to share the outcome of activities with industry owners and officials.

Project Manager Mr Khammone Chommavivong told Vientiane Times the main goal of the project was to raise awareness about wastewater treatment in Vientiane for both households and factories.

“There are more than 2,430 factories in Vientiane and 81 were included in the project study. But only three factories were found to have good quality wastewater treatment systems: Lao Brewery, Lao Soft Drinks and the Urai Phanich paint factory,” Mr Khammone said.

The seminar described the planning and design of structural and ecological measures for wastewater treatment, the promotion of legal and regulatory frameworks for septic tanks and decentralised wastewater treatment systems, and raising people's environmental awareness though education.

Mr Khammone said the three-year US$2.5 million JICA project was in its final year having started in October 2014.

“There are many factories discharging wastewater in Vientiane but we could not survey them all as we simply didn't have the resources,” Mr Khammone explained.

Factories that have no wastewater treatment will be inspected by authorities and given a warning on the first visit. A month later, on the second visit, they will be ordered to install systems and failing that ordered to stop operations temporarily or permanently on the next visit.

The implementing agencies will include the capital's Department of Public Works and Transport, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Department of Industry and Commerce, Public Works and Transport Institute PTI, Department of Pollution Control, Vientiane Urban Developmen t and Administration Agency, and other administrative bodies.

At the meeting, a Department of Natural Resources and Environment official, Mr Vilasak Venpaseuth, said project staff had been compiling guidelines that every inspector should follow and the main text was shared with all seminar participants.

An official from the Department of Industry and Commerce, Mr Vongphet Ratsabouth, conceded that administration offices faced a lack of budget, manpower and information to carry out inspections. But he said the project had developed a new database that could assist inspections among relevant departments in Vientiane.

He also highlighted the importance of public-private sector cooperation such as through the seminar to improve communication which would lead to improvements in the local water environment.



By Patithin Phetmeuangphuan
(Latest Update April 5, 2017)

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