Project Monaragala & Buttala, Sri Lanka

Monaragala-Buttala IWSP

High quality water for 90,000 people

In south-eastern Sri Lanka, the Monaragala and Buttala region now boasts a modern drinking water supply, completed in 2017. A vast infrastructure to collect, treat, store and distribute water was designed by BESIX Sanotec, and built largely by local workers.

From river to tap

The network which BESIX Sanotec designed to supply 90,000 residents in south-eastern Sri Lanka with high quality drinking water comprises: two river water intake points, a water treatment plant with a capacity of 6,000 m³ of potable water a day, a water tower, three underground storage tanks, an office complex and residential buildings, and 100 km of transmission and distribution pipelines. The works spanned 12 different sites across a 300 km² area.

Rain in the equation

The intake points were built by excavating vertically in earth immediately adjacent to the water courses. This was a delicate operation, carefully scheduled between rainy seasons. The simpler tasks were undertaken in less favourable climatic conditions. Official commissioning was planned for the second quarter of 2017, but good ‘Lean Planning’ practice ensured drinking water was made available to local communities two months ahead of schedule. This came just in time for the drought experienced between late 2016 and early 2017.

This first BESIX project in Sri Lanka was a complete success, despite the complexities of drinking water production and difficult local conditions.

Emmanuel Craenen
Deputy Site Manager

Drinking water and jobs

The drinking water now available in Monaragala and Buttala and the hinterland is a real boon for the people who live in this very disadvantaged area, hit hard by the civil war (1983-2009). The works brought jobs to over 400 local residents for a period of 18 months. Most of these workers had few qualifications, and received training in formwork, steelwork, quality, safety and the environment. BESIX will oversee operations and maintenance here for three months before it hands over to the local operator. BESIX provides assistance during one year after the handing over (process assistance, Electro Mechanical assistance, maintenance, analyses of the potable water, …..) to ensure the delivery of high quality potable water to the end users.

Project details

Project name

Monaragala-Buttala IWSP


Potable Water Plants

Contract type

Design & Build


Monaragala & Buttala, Sri Lanka




Ministry of water supply & Drainage National Water Supply & Drainage Board

Building Period

2014 - 2016

Total value

€ 24 million

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