The U.S. delegation and the Vientiane City Office for Management and Service had a working session to review the proposed pilot project.

USASCP Program Manager, Helen Santiago Fink, joined staff and partners from the Water Smart Engagement (WiSE) program to survey and scope the proposed site for a nature-based trickling filter system in Vientiane, Lao PDR. The WiSE Program pairs water utilities from five U.S. Cities with ASEAN cities to increase water security in ASEAN partner cities through sustainable water management solutions, to support capacity building and establish relationships between city pairings, and the increase the exchange of goods, services, science and technology.

A VCOMs representative gives a tour of the proposed site.

The Vientiane City Office for Management and Service (VCOMS) is paired with Clean Water Services of Hillsboro, Oregon. USASCP was joined by WiSE Program Manager, Joshua Boyce, two representatives from Clean Water Services, and a technical expert from Biohabitats, a U.S. ecological engineering firm whose projects work to restore and conserve natural habitats. The proposed project in Vientiane will address the uncontrolled wastewater discharge flowing into open storm water canals. City wastewater would be diverted through the site of an old lake that has since been covered in vegetation, which will serve as a natural filtration system to pretreat wastewater. The proposed project will remove odorous, polluted wastewater throughout the city. The technical expert from BioHabitats surveyed the site and will provide VCOMs with several proposals for a water pollution mitigation system as a follow up to the site visit.

A representative from Biohabitats surveys the proposed site to inform the draft nature based filtration proposal.

While in Vientiane, USASCP and the WiSE delegation made a site visit to the Hungarian wastewater treatment plant. They learned Vientiane’s city infrastructure is limited as the different types of wastewater are mixed. The Hungarian wastewater treatment plant began construction last year to increase Vientiane’s water treatment capabilities, but additional water treatment services are still needed to meet the city’s overall demand. The proposed USASCP pilot project would complement ongoing water treatment efforts.

The U.S. Delegation visits the Hungarian Wastewater Treatment Plant.