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Bringing clean water to a low-income fishing community in Denpasar, Indonesia

Apr 2017
Indonesia
3000 people reached

Denpasar is the capital city of the Indonesian holiday island of Bali. Although the hotels and holiday resorts are well served, many of the low income communities outside the tourist areas have poor or no water and sanitation services. For instance, the 3,000 strong fishing community on Serangan Island just 0.5km to the south of Denpasar suffers from poor quality water and high leakage rates. This island, which is famed for being a breeding site for endangered green sea turtles and for its mangrove conservation centre, was chosen for a pilot project to demonstrate to Indonesian service providers how the system can be quickly and easily upgraded using modern PE pipes and installation techniques. The project is sponsored in part by Borouge under the WaterLinks Alliance programme. Established in 2008, the WaterLinks Alliance is a regional network of water service operators, practitioners and development partners that supports water operators in the Asia-Pacific region and catalyses efficiency improvements to enhance and expand access to urban water and sanitation services.

Leak prone existing water supply system due to coastal ground movements

Because of the coastal environment and poor ground conditions present around the island, the original cast iron pipe network transporting water from the mainland to Serangan had become badly corroded, resulting in serious water leakage issues. In a bid to mitigate the problem, the local water authority then installed uPVC pipes with cemented socket joints - such pipes are generally popular and widely accepted because they are cheap and lightweight. The uPVC pipe systems, however, are vulnerable to soil erosion and ground movement that may result in the dislocation of their socket joints. This in turn, resulted in regular disruptions to the villagers’ clean water supply due to the constant need for repair and upgrading works, leaving them no choice but to subsist on bottled water and face the inconvenience of transporting water in small portable containers from the mainland.

Employing quality materials and pipeline design to reduce water leakage

Designed by engineering consultants Ranhill Utilities, the focus of the pilot project to resolve Serangan’s water issues was to improve water quality and reduce losses by replacing the old mains and house connections with new PE pipes and fittings, in addition to establishing a district metering area (DMA) system. The DMA system enables the water company to accurately measure the network’s leakage rate and identify areas for upgrading. The PE pipes were produced by local Indonesian manufacturer PT Indopipe using BorSafe™ PE100 material donated by Borouge under its Water for the World programme. The laying of the pipes commenced in December 2014 and was completed by the end of January 2015, with works being carried out by a local contractor with technical input and support from Indopipe and Borouge.

Reaping long-term, sustainable benefits

PE100 pipes can be welded and joined into a continuous end load resistant string, which means that the joints will not come apart even when there are ground movements, making them highly suited to coastal areas. Because of the corrosion resistant nature of PE100, the pipes can be in operation for more than 50 years and recycled as high energy fuel at the end of their service life. Acknowledging the benefits of PE100, Head of Kota Denpasar PDAM (Denpasar Water Utility) Ir. Mahaputra said,

With this newly installed PE100 pipe system, we expect to be able to significantly improve the water reliability to the communities in Serangan and also lower our overall maintenance cost for the current network.

Ir. Mahaputra — Head of Kota Denpasar PDAM