Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project, Sri Lanka


Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project

The Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project, located in Sri Lanka, is designed for the Colombo Municipal Council (CMC) to provide improved wastewater management services for Colombo's 838,000 urban and suburban residents living within the project area. The project commenced in April 2010 and is expected to be completed by December 2014.

The project is expected to improve public health, living conditions, hygiene and sanitary conditions in Greater Colombo, which is home to 2.5 million residents. It will provide improved water quality in coastal areas through repairs to the existing sea outfalls. Inland and marine water quality will also be improved by the project.

Wastewater management project components

The Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project includes three major components set for upgrading sewerage infrastructure, strengthening institutional and operational capacity of the drainage division, and project management and implementation support.


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Constituting 80% of the project funds, component 1 restores the main sewerage system covering pumping stations and pumping mains in Colombo, Kollonnawa and Dehiwala-Mt Lavinia. It also restores critical gravity sewers with under-capacity and marine outfalls. It further includes provision of non-fixed operational equipment.

Four jetting and vacuum trucks, spare parts and accessories worth approximately $1.25m were purchased as part of component 1. The jetting machines clean/unclog about 260km of sewer lines, including 7,000 manholes, in the city.

Component 2 aims to improve the institutional and operational capacity of the drainage division by introducing financial management, environmental regulatory compliance monitoring, assets management, operational performance monitoring, customer services, community participation and public education.

CMC is assisted by the institutional development consultant (IDC) in implementing institutional changes for the sustainability of sewerage operation. IDC also assists in administrative and management functions, and supports organisational communications and coordination.

Component 3 implements the capacity development programme after assessing training needs and training plans. It is also designed for incremental administration and operations of the project management unit.

Greater Colombo wastewater management background

The Greater Colombo area's existing sewerage system is old and limited in coverage. It provides services to local authority areas of CMC, Dehiwala-Mt Lavinia Municipal Council and Kollonnawa Urban Council.

Planning and construction in CMC began in 1896 and 1906 respectively with the help of a government loan. The sewerage systems in the remaining areas were constructed based on the sewerage master plan by Howard Humphrey in 1983-87.

According to the wastewater master plan dated 1972, 66% of the Colombo capital region's population was served by on-site facilities, 19% by the public sewerage system and the remaining had no facilities for support.

Purpose of the wastewater management project

"CMC needs intensive and extensive support for developing institutional capacity for satisfying its mandate of asset management and delivery of efficient and effective services to the citizens."

The sewerage system of Colombo had numerous technical, institutional, managerial and operational problems. The financial resources secured through local taxes and government subsidies were insufficient to fund sustainable delivery of wastewater services.

CMC needs intensive and extensive support for developing institutional capacity for satisfying its mandate of asset management and delivery of efficient and effective services to the citizens.

Greater Colombo project key players

The Greater Colombo Wastewater Management Project is expected to cost $92.85m. Asian Development Bank provided $79.76m, while the remaining is financed by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Ministry of Local Government and Provincial Council executes the project, which is implemented by CMC.

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