Rehabilitation of Kelana Jaya Lakes through Community Participation

Date of Approval:                          29 May 2007
Project Duration:                           20 Months
Date of Commencement:               3 August 2007
Expected Completion Date:           3 April 2009
Project Objectives
Long term objective
To improve the water quality of Kelana Jaya lakes and its associated biodiversity through active participation of local communities using innovative technologies

Immediate objectives

1. To demonstrate an innovative and affordable solution to improve water quality in the polluted lakes
2. To strenghten the role of the local residents especially Friends of Kelana Jaya Park and other partners in the stewardship of the lakes and the park
Project Description

The Kelana Jaya Lakes are ex-mining ponds in the Sg Damansara River Basin in Selangor managed by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ). They were initially managed solely as flood retention areas until they were developed as a public park in 1996. The lakes (5 in total) are still functioning as a flood retention basin but form an important feature of the Kelana Jaya Municipal Park. The lakes are also a popular spot for anglers.

Environmental problem
Water quality of the Kelana Jaya lakes is in critical condition. Its fish population and other biodiversity are living in a near toxic environment with minimal dissolved oxygen level. Water circulation is poor in the lakes, therefore organic matter that flows into the system will almost entirely be deposited as sludge in the lake bed and dissolved oxygen in the water is very low. In such conditions, the sludge will decompose through anaerobic decomposition processes which produces toxic gases such as ammonia, methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. Smelly gases and compounds produced by anaerobic decomposition causes bad odours. In the case of Kelana Jaya lakes, the anaerobic zone has almost reached the surface of the lakes leaving only a thin layer of aerobic zone near the surface.

The technology to be used 

Rejuvenation of such lakes is costly and will burden the public and communities and the community has been searching for cheaper and environmentally friendly methods to rehabilitate the lakes. The main technology proposed for use under the project is Ecofan - which is a new and innovative sludge treatment technology for lake systems. Ecofan has been designed based on water movement theory developed by Japanese researchers. The concept has been further researched and developed in Malaysia since 2002. Ecofan helps accelerate the decomposition process of accumulated sludge via aerobic process rather than anaerobic thus will significantly improve water quality in the lakes. The technology has been tested and proven to accelerate natural decomposition of accumulated sludge in sewage oxidation ponds and palm oil effluent ponds. The device and its application have been fully developed in Malaysia by Tropical Benchmark Sdn Bhd in cooperation with SIRIM Bhd. Most importantly, the technology permits resident’s participation and involvement and therefore is favourable to the community.