Shanghai's Bailonggang Sewage Treatment Plant is expected to begin trial operations in Pudong New Area in June after a year of upgrading.
The improvements will make discharge from the plant two-thirds cleaner than at present.
One of Shanghai's four major sewage plants, the plant will increase its sewage treatment capacity to two million cubic meters per day from the current 1.2 million cubic meters.
The city started construction work in April last year on the 2.2-billion-yuan (US$286 million) upgrade designed to turn Bailonggang into the country's largest treatment plant.
"Future expansion may push the plant's treatment capacity to 3.42 million cubic meters per day, which would make it the largest in the world," said Zhao Yide, the chief engineer of the Bailonggang Sewage Treatment Co Ltd, which is running the project.
"After the renovations and by the end of this year, the plant will cut water pollution by reducing 72,700 tons of COD every year," Zhao said. COD, the chemical oxygen demand, is a measure of the capacity of water to consume oxygen.
The plant will treat sewage from residents and factories in Huangpu, Luwan, Xuhui, Changning districts and some areas of Pudong.
The quality of water from the plant will be raised to the point where the discharge can be used for agricultural and industrial purposes. The water that leaves the plant will not be drinkable, however, and the city still has a long way to go before all of its waste discharge is properly treated, according to engineers.
"When the Bailonggang plant reaches the treatment capacity goal of two million cubic meters per day, it will be treating a third of the sewage in the city," Zhao said.
The Bailonggang project is part of Shanghai's plan to improve dozens of plants by 2010 so it can cut 15 percent of COD in the city.
(Shanghai Daily March 22, 2008)