News & Events

Hong Kong Appoints Black & Veatch to Protect Town Against Floods

Hong Kong SAR
Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Drainage Services Department implements Hong Kong’s first large-scale barrage scheme to build climate resilience and promote sustainable development in low-lying town

The Drainage Services Department (DSD) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has appointed Black & Veatch to formulate and design a barrage scheme to improve flood protection levels in the low-lying town of Yuen Long.

The barrage scheme is part of DSD’s strategy to provide world-class wastewater and stormwater drainage services to enable the sustainable development of Hong Kong. 

Black & Veatch optimized the original flood alleviation scheme and identified a favorable site for the stormwater infrastructure.

“The barrage scheme will be the first of its kind in Hong Kong that utilizes a series of large-capacity pumps and tidal barrier for flood protection. We are committed to supporting our clients with leading-edge solutions that are versatile, cost-effective, resilient and environmentally sustainable,” said Andy Kwok, Managing Director, Black & Veatch Hong Kong.

The barrage scheme will comprise a tidal barrier that prevents backflow of seawater from Deep Bay to the Yuen Long town center during high tides. It will also feature a pumping station that conveys stormwater from upstream of the barrage to Shan Pui River for discharge during high tides and high intensity rainstorm events. The tidal barrier can be raised to cater for rise in sea levels to safeguard the low-lying areas from flooding.

The benefits of the barrage scheme include improving the drainage performance of Yuen Long Nullah – an open concrete stormwater channel – through downstream pumping during severe rainstorm events. Designing the scheme at a downstream location away from the town will greatly reduce disruption to communities and traffic.

Black & Veatch will design the barrage scheme to align with DSD’s revitalization of more than two kilometers of the nullah by incorporating a green environment, and promoting biodiversity, beautification and water-friendly activities.

Black & Veatch’s experience in mitigating flooding risks with advance stormwater infrastructure includes the hydraulic design of the award-winning Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme.

Editor's Notes:

  • Yuen Long is a low-lying area prone to flooding. To address the issue, the Government has launched a number of flood control schemes in Yuen Long since the 1960s. Yuen Long Bypass Floodway (YLBF) was constructed in 2006, enabling approximately 15% of stormwater from the upstream catchment which would have otherwise entered into Yuen Long town center, to be diverted to YLBF. An inflatable dam at the downstream end of Yuen Long Nullah provides protection against backflow of seawater from Deep Bay during high tides.
  • Black & Veatch was the hydraulic designer on the HK$1 billion Happy Valley Underground Stormwater Storage Scheme (HVUSSS). The objective of the HVUSSS is to provide off-line stormwater storage in the Happy Valley catchment during a 1-in-50 years rainstorm event. Major components include an inlet structure, twin cells diversion box culvert with overflow side weir system, an underground storage tank of 60,000m3 and a pump house with a pumping rate of 5,400 m3/hr. During heavy rainstorms, excess runoff in the diversion box culvert will enter the storage tank via the overflow weir system. After rainstorms the storage tank will be emptied to prepare for upcoming rainstorm events.

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