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Black & Veatch's Engineering Experts Design Hong Kong's Award-Winning “Mountain Cavern” Reservoir

Black & Veatch's Engineering Experts Design Hong Kong's Award-Winning “Mountain Cavern” Reservoir

Project Name
Re-Provision of Waterworks Facilities on Campus
Hong Kong
University of Hong Kong

The mountain looming over Hong Kong is named Lung Fu Shan, which in Cantonese means Mountain of Dragon and Tiger. The University of Hong Kong (HKU) sits astride the mountain, and to celebrate its centennial, a building expansion was planned with a tight design and construction program. But the space on the mountain is precious, and old underground waterworks facilities took up part of it. The Water Supplies Department (WSD), Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, was searching for a way to assist HKU in its goal to expand without disturbing the existing slopes.

An original, environmentally unfriendly scheme for the re-provisioning of the waterworks facilities was abandoned, and Black & Veatch* was engaged as the engineering consultant for the project.

"Their engineers listened and subsequently, in collaboration with WSD, proposed an innovative, sustainable and environmentally friendly solution."

Albert Lee, Engineer, Water Supplies Department

Swift Solutions

The sustainable solution involved the design, construction and commissioning of two freshwater service reservoirs with a total capacity of 26,500 cubic meters (7 million gallons) and two saltwater service reservoirs with a total capacity of 12,000 cubic meters (3 million gallons) to be located in two rock caverns within the mountain. The two underground saltwater service reservoirs are located along an arched-roof access tunnel.

Introducing the concept of housing the saltwater service reservoirs in the cavern instead of cutting into the slopes helped actualize WSD’s objective to protect the environment. Another key element of WSD’s mission statement is to provide a reliable and adequate supply of wholesome potable water for drinking and seawater for sanitary flushing to its 7 million customers in the most cost-effective way.

“At the commencement of the contract, most team members believed that it was a virtually impossible mission to complete on time. However, Black & Veatch pulled all the parties together, and the team completed the work in 30 months.”

Albert Lee, Water Supplies Department, Hong Kong SAR

*A project undertaken in Hong Kong SAR when Black & Veatch owned that business.

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