Plants could play a bigger role in treating the water that flows through Singapore's waterways in future.
In-stream wetlands - plants in canals and drains that extract unwanted nutrients from runoff water flowing into reservoirs - will be tested in Pang Sua East Canal from 2016.
They will be added as part of enhancement works to Pang Sua Pond in Bukit Panjang which began yesterday.
The $6.8 million project, part of national water agency PUB's Active, Beautiful, Clean Waters programme, is expected to be completed by the middle of 2016.
PUB's chief sustainability officer Tan Nguan Sen said that the local plants, such as fragrant pandan, will remove nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from the water.
"We want to treat the water before it reaches the pond so that the water quality in the pond will be improved," he said at a groundbreaking event at Senja-Cashew Community Club, which is next to the pond.
The research is being done by PUB and the National University of Singapore with Dutch applied research institute Deltares, and if successful, could be rolled out to other waterways.
Other new features for the pond, which is around the size of four football fields, include a boardwalk and a multi-purpose stage on the water itself.
Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said yesterday that the boardwalks will be integrated with transport networks in the neighbourhood.
"Every pond, every waterway in Singapore is a potential community feature, and we'll work with local communities to generate ideas so that there'll be facilities which families can use," he said.
This article was first published on July 21, 2014.
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