Work began Wednesday morning on an experimental dredging of the Sword Lake in the heart of Hanoi using German technology.
Around 1000 square meters or one percent of the lake, known as Guom in Vietnamese, will be dredged over the next 10 days with the help of experts from Thailand and Germany.
A gas pipeline and a mud pipeline would be used in the four-stage process called Sedturtle in which water will be pumped out, the mud taken and rocks and stones removed. The mud is then squeezed into dry soil pieces.
The experts use machines that can take 30 cubic meters of mud per hour from 1-1.1 meters deep and separate it from the water. Around three cubic meters of soil every day will be taken to the city outskirts while the water is discharged into the city’s drainage system.
Ha Dinh Duc, chairman of the dredging project on the lake, said the water squeezed from the mud looks clean but he has asked concerned authorities to take samples and check for toxins.
The dredging area has been fenced with three iron nets to prevent any harm to old turtles living in the lake.
The process is supervised by the capital city’s departments of Construction, Science and Technology and Natural Resources and Environment, the Hanoi Water Company and local police.
Vu Nhu Hanh, deputy director of Hanoi’s Science and Technology Department, said the work had gone without a hitch until Wednesday afternoon and had no impact on the turtles.
Hanh said the dredging is a joint project between Vietnam Ministry of Science and Technology and Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research. All the tools used in the project were brought from Germany, he said.
Experts and officials will consider dredging the entire lake if the experiment proves effective, he added.