Japanese-style ‘water bank’ ready in Bangkok in August
Will help beat Asok-Din Daeng floods
11 July 2019
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha, centre, leads a visit on July 5 to the construction sites of three flood-prevention projects including ‘water banks’ in Bangkok.
The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) will complete building the underground “water bank” at flood-prone Asok-Din Daeng Road next month, to better protect the area against severe inundation, according to Deputy Bangkok governor Jakkraphan Phewngam.
The new flood prevention measure, which is modelled on underground water banks in Japan, is a concrete well that can be used to retain rainwater during heavy downpours. The well is connected with pipes and gutters to receive flood water.
The underground water bank in Asok-Din Daeng Road is under the entrance of Soi Sutthiphon 2, a minor road off Asok Din Daeng. Construction is already 40% complete, said deputy governor Jakkraphan.
This part of Soi Sutthiphon 2 has long been known as one of Bangkok’s most flood prone areas because it is low-lying. Not only do residents along the roads feel worried over high levels of flooding when rain drenches the capital, but motorists also fear they will be trapped in subsequent heavy traffic congestion.
“We have used pipes and water pumps to drain water out but that rarely helps. The water bank, along with a pump and gutter system, is needed as a long-term solution,” Mr Jakkraphan said.
The pumping machine can pump water at a rate of 1.25 cubic metres a second, sending it through a 400-metre pipe linked to the well.
Once the project is completed, flooding along a section of Asok Din Daeng Road from Pracha Songkhro intersection to Soi Kwan Phatthana and adjacent areas will be greatly reduced, the deputy governor said. Soi Sutthiphon 2 is among five areas where the city plans to build water banks, with a total capacity to hold 27,030 cu m of water, this year.
Of the four other wells, two will be located at Lak Si Circle in Bang Khen district and Setthakit housing estate in Bang Khae district while the rest will be built under two flyovers — one near Ratchadaphisek and Vibhavadi Rangsit roads and the other in the vicinity of Srinakarin and Krunthep Kritha roads. City Hall is also using other measures to cope with floods, based on different geographical areas in the capital, Mr Jakkraphan said.
“Pipe jacking”, which refers to a technique to install underground pipelines with hydraulic jacks, is used on small crowded roads like Song Sawat, Yaowarat and Charoen Krung roads. In greater Bangkok, with more green areas, the city will build ‘kaem ling’ (monkey’s cheeks) water catchment areas.