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Can super pumps help HCM City combat floods?

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Scientists don’t believe that using a large-capacity pump to suck water will help combat floods, a heady problem for HCMC for many years.

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The HCMC authorities have decided to install a pump with large capacity of 96,000 cubic meters per hour on Nguyen Huu Canh street, a ‘flood hub’ in the city, to suck water and control floods. 

The ‘super-pump’ is leased from Quang Trung Mechanical Engineering Group. Under a contract signed between the municipal authorities and Quang Trung, the conglomerate has the responsibility of operating the pump to prevent floods on Nguyen Huu Canh street. The water level in this area must be lower than 0.1 meters as per the Ministry of Construction’s standard. 

The heavy rain on September 30 caused serious inundation to Nguyen Huu Canh street. When the water level rose to 65 cm, the engineers from Quang Trung began operating the pump and the water went down just one hour later.

Nguyen Ngoc Cong, director of the city’s anti-flood program management center, confirmed with the local press that the ‘super-pump’ had positive effects in initial trials.

Meanwhile, scientists don’t think a large-capacity pump could be an effective solution to HCMC’s problems. Phan Khanh from the HCMC Water Resources Science Association commented that using the super-pump is an ‘anti-scientific action’.

He said that the flooding situation in HCMC depends on three factors – rainfall, flood tides and floodwaters.

HCMC can control floodwaters with effectively run flood-control works on Sai Gon and Dong Nai Rivers. Therefore, he believes that what HCMC needs to focus on is preventing flood tides. In order to do this, there is only one choice – building 11 culverts to prevent tides.

However, since the city still cannot allocate funds for the building of culverts, it is necessary to apply temporary solutions. 

He emphasized the principle that water draining must be implemented with many small-capacity pumps in many different areas. The pumps can be installed at residents’ houses and maintained by people at reasonable fees.

Another expert also doubts that using super-pumps is a good solution, warning that once the water on Nguyen Huu Canh street is pumped into the river, the street will get dry, but the water from the river will run into other depressed areas and inundate them. 

Nguyen Tang Cuong, general director of Quang Trung, argued that using a super-pump is an ‘effective, economical and scientific’ solution.

He denied that the water from river will inundate other depressed areas.

“The volume of water from Nguyen Huu Canh, and even other 40 flood hubs, if pumped into the river, would only make the water level rise by 1-2 cm at maximum,” he explained.

 

Source: Tien Phong - VietNamNet

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