Vu Thu water treatment plant – Vu Thu town – Thai Binh province – Vietnam

Thai binh map

Thai Binh is a coastal eastern province in Red river Delta region of Northern Vietnam. Vu Thu district locates between Nam Dinh province and Thai Binh city, it is about 100 km from Ha Noi, 80 km from Hai Phong. There is 10 National Road run through it.

Vu Thu water treatment plant locates on Nguyen Trai road, this road is in parallel with Kien Giang river (common name: Paris river) and 10 National Road.

Picture 3: Relative position of Vu Thu WTP

Following informations was collected on March, 17th, 2012.


Construction year? 1997 Operation year? 1999
Design capacity? Initially 1000 m3/ngd, presently 3000 m3/day. Operation capacity 1000 m3/day.
Area? Not provided. Was it ever upgrade, enlarge? 1 time
Initial capital, enlarge/expand capital, design, construction unit? Initial investment capital was 3 to 3.4 billion VND.
Enlarge plan? There is not any clear enlarge plan, because initial period, investment capital was not enough, and there is only reserve land.

Is there another water supply unit in this area? There is a private supply unit named Nam Cuong, currently it supplies clean water for 6-7 communes of Vu Thu district which near the border. This company has better service and more competitive price in comparison with Vu Thu WTP. However, presently, it is not any big competition in the market.

Infrastructure, equipments, machine, laboratory, labor protection equipment/costume, supply material (Chlorine, Lime, chemical). Electric, waste water discharge system. See following picture. There is a simple laboratory.

Picture 4: Outline of blocks’ positions in Vu Thu WTP

1. Raw water pumping station
2. Garden
3. Operation block
4. Meeting room + Office
5. New resevor 400 m3
6. Treatment block, include 2 vertical sedimentation tanks and 2 gravity filter tanks
7. Old reservor 400 m3
8. WC
9. Block include treated water pumping station, chemical house, Chlorine pump, phòng trực.

Mother company/organization? Thai Binh water company.
Any smaller unit? Own seal? No Annual inspection? Not provided.
Relationship with local authority? It is not managed by local authority.

Picture 5: Reservor 7 and treatment block 6

Staffs, leader? There are 15 staffs include: a director, a vice director. Staff level/degree? Not provided. Staff rotation mode? There is not staff rotation mode.
Is there any training? Study about GIS, SCADA. Annually, Thai Binh Water Company organizes some trips for staffs to other WTPs to study, exchange experiences.
Average salary? Not provided Staff performance access. Not provided.
Is current human resource enough? Actually, Thai Binh Water Company implements piecework mode for Vu Thu WTP (depends on volume of water sold). Presently, water using demand of people is not high, which in turn, if increase number of staffs, the average salary will be decrease. Hence, although, current human resource is not enough but there is not any recruitment. As a result, a staff must do every work when necessary. For example, technical staffs some time are in charge of record and collect water bill.
Daily routine? Ability, responsibility? Other work activities? Other activities (sport, entertainment)? Not provided.

Technology line? Main treatment block includes vertical sedimentation tanks, gravity filter tanks, 2 reservoirs, each one is 400m3 Raw water and treated water pumping station. Maintenance plan, capacity upgrade plan. Water input, output data. Any standard, regulation? Not provided.

Picture 6: 3,4,5 blocks as in photo 1.

Picture 7: 3,5,6 blocks as in photo 1

Raw water, treated water analysis regular/irregular activities? Frequency, criteria, position, equipment, number of taken samples, person in charge. There is a staff who is in charge of raw water quality data daily, before the raw water intake facility. Output water quality is checked monthly by District preventive medicine centre, especially when any disease happen in area.

Picture 8: Treatment block: mixing tank, vertical sedimentation tank, gravity filter tank.

Network, length total, material, connection number, connection/staff, annual addition connection number, fire hydrants, network partition/separation, leakage control, night leakage detection, leakage control team. There are about 3000 connections. Initially, mostly pipes were cast iron, presently mostly pipes are PVC, HDPE. Total length of transportation pipes is approxiamately 7km, total length of distribution pipes is about 12km. Number of new connections in 2011 was 100, there is not any fire hydrant, network partition/separation is not implemented because the number of connections is small. Presently water loss control is only implement by common sensory, mainly visual, there is not any specialization water loss detection equipment.
Pipe broken/km/year. Around 1 time/month, it is affected by construction work, transportation. If it is affected by construction work, WTP will repair it then request family/organization who broke pipe have to compensate.
Total meter, master meter? There is a total meter after treated water pumping station. Control valve, one-way valve, two-way valve, air discharge valve, sediment discharge valve on network? Sediment discharge valves are available. Normally, staffs in WTP are release sediment discharge valves monthly
Water loss rate? Current water loss rate is 30%.

Picture 9: Treated water pumping station

Picture 10: Pipes from reservoir to treated water pumping station

Picture 11: Vertical pump in clean water pumping station

Financial management? Documents, record, drawings store? Information record? Invoice system. Not provided.
Water price calculated and announced by? Water price increasing routine. Water price is issued by Provincial People Committee (PPC). There is environment and waste water fee in clean water fee, which PPC suggest Water Supply Company on behalf of and collect. Annual operation cost: labor, electric, material, replacing supplies, small fixing, chemical. Replacing supplies and material, chemical are supplied by mother company, weekly, staffs of WTP drive a small truct to mother company to receive them. Other costs are recorded by an accountant in WTP and paid by mother company.
Total actually collected amount in comparison with total on invoice amount, investment: total value of fixed asset/population served. Not provided.

Picture 12: Alum chemical packet, use for flocculation

Picture 13: Some equipments in clean water pumping station

Customer management: how many staff are in charge of recording water meter index, and collecting water bill, routine. There are 3,4 staffs in charge of record water meter index monthly, collecting water fee is usually combine with collecting electric fee at 4 places in town in 3-4 days, these days, there are 8 staffs at 4 places.
Customer’s complaints? Customer’s complaints are mostly about low pressure, water can not reach floor 3,4, however there is a disadvantage: water loss rate will be increase if increase pressure.
Customer connection fee? It is from 800,000 to 1,200,000 VND depends on the distance between service pipe to household.
Large customer? Presently, the largest water customer is Vietnam – Korea textile company, water consumption monthly is 3000-4000 m3/month. This company uses water from drilled well in addition with water from WTP.
Water meter testing, replacing 5 years/time. Water meter replacing 5 years/time is still implemented because there is a small amount be included in monthly water fee  for replacing work. However, replacing work sometime is implemented when water meter is broken, not depends on 5years-period. Old water meters after collected are exchanged to new water meters with Thai Binh water company. Mother company sometime check old water meters, but mostly those old water meters are discarded.
Customer identification number? Provided unclearly
Manage large customer? More than one customer use one water meter, one customer use some water meters, water fee debt. Not provided.

New connections development meet many difficulties, the reason is existing network in somewhere can not meet the water using demand. New pipeline installation work is not enough investment capital, there is not any interest if invest for residential water supply, and there is not any industrial zone in this area.

Picture 14: Notification board in WTP

Summarized contents: 1. Check Chlorine pot regularly, when weight is 1kg + pot weight, please change to another pot, shift work which let the Chlorine in pot end, make valve failure, have to compensate.

2. Check sedimentation tanks and filter tanks regularly, let water level in filter tanks around the red ruler position. If collection valve is opened maximum, water lever is higher than red ruler, it is necessary to clean filter materials.

3. Notice: the time for run clean water pumping station are on 6h, 10h20, 16h.

Picture 15: Chlorine pot on a balance, as above content

Picture 16: Ruler stick with floating bouy in filter tank, describe for above content (2).

Service coverage: population served/population in served area. Water supply served population is 10,000-12,000 inhabitants. Average consumption, l/person/day.

Category of consumers, structure of water use: residential, production, service, industry, offices. Customer history. Different water price for different customer, poor family supporting? There is not any support for poor family. Water price follows policy of Provincial People Committee.

Service qualiy: How many supply hour/day, water supply quality.

Illegal connection? There is not any illegal connection, but there are some cases, which consumer make water index failure (reduce). These phenomenon when are detected, will be get fine as company’s regulation.

Customer care: other water resource beside treated water from WTP? What do they want? Education saving water consumption awareness? There is not any activity relate to this matter in Vu Thu WTP.

Any big incident? No.

Any survey team? Not provided.

Picture 17: Private truck transport a water pot to buy water at WTP

Above informations were provided by Mr. Hung – officer of WTP

Benchmarking informations of Thai Binh water company from 2004 to 2007
                                                            General informations:

v  Address: Tien Phong ward,  Thai Binh city, Thai Binh province.
v  Director: Nguyen Thi Che
v  Phone number : 036.832050
v  Fax: (84 – 36) 839639

Functions – Duties:

v  Exploit raw water and product clean water to provide to residential, industrial and service water demand.

v  Water exploitation and production management.

v  Water supply network system installation and construction in province area; residential and industry water supply system installation.

Scale, ability:

v  Total design capacity 2007: 33,900 m3/day

v  Operation capacity 2007: 7.21 million m3/year

v  Total commercial water volume 2007: 6.084 million m3/year

v  Total staffs 2007: 224 people

Main data     Unit





Population in Statistical Yearbook 2007






Population in water supply served area 2007






Served population






 Cover rate






Total connections






Water price: –  Residental






                – State organizations






                – Industry






                – Service






Water supply time






Operation rate  





Residential water consumption






Staff /’000 connections

#/’000 connections





Water loss rate






Operation cost for 1m3 has sold







Cost include: Labor, chemical, electric. Exclude: depreciation of fixed assets, tax and other costs                   

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