Client: Water Services Corporation and Services Division of the Ministry for Resources and Infrastructure
Start / Finish Dates: December 2007 - April 2008
The storm water management project comprises the construction of culverts and underground conduits, including tunnels and high pressure pipelines, for the diversion, and possible retention and reuse or discharge of storm water run-off to alleviate flooding problems in the Birkirkara – Msida area. The routing of some of the alternative routes in some of the tunnel options affords the opportunity to discharge treated sewage effluent (TSE) into the tunnels such that the TSE may be mixed with the runoff and used for irrigation or other uses as may be identified in the future.
Six options were considered in the Environmental Appraisal:
- Culvert discharging at Msida Creek;
- Culvert and pressure pipe discharging at Msida Creek or Ta’ Xbiex or Pembroke;
- Tunnel and pressure pipe discharging at Msida Creek or Ta’ Xbiex or Pembroke or Ghar Lapsi;
- Tunnel discharging at Xghajra or Hal Far or Ghar Lapsi or Ta’ Xbiex (includes TSE);
- Tunnel and culvert discharging at Msida Creek (might include water storage potential); and
- Tunnel discharging at Xghajra (includes TSE).
The assessment was carried out against current environmental legislation and planning policies, environmental data obtained from MEPA, and surveys undertaken by Adi Associates. This data covered land uses, agriculture, geology and hydrology, sea water quality, cultural heritage, and ecology (terrestrial, marine and avifauna).
The assessment indicated that from an environmental perspective, the fifth option was the most favourable. It not only performs the best in terms of potential environmental impacts, but also offers the greatest scope for extension both in scope and capacity.
Keywords: Storm water, flood relief, Environmental Appraisal