Tuen Mun River Channel

Restoration of an artificial river channel is more than a beautification project, and should aim to at least partially restore the river's original mechanisms and functions, as it partly reverts to its natural condition. This is because a natural river has a self-regulating capacity to maintain its different functions through a variety of mechanisms. Little human intervention is needed to provide a wide range of favourable conditions (such as good water quality, pleasant landscape), and eliminate the need for many artificial constructions and management (such as measures to solve the odour).



Restoring Hydrology

There are several artificial barriers cutting off different sections of Tuen Mun River. If some water is allowed to return to the channel, it will be beneficial to ecological restoration as well as to ameliorating the water pollution. If the catchwater design can be changed to allow part of the stream water to continue along its original course and maintain a certain flow; or the dry weather flow interceptors can be dismantled after the problem with village sewage being discharged into the river can be resolved; or discharge the treated sewage back to the Tuen Mun River Channel near the interceptors, the continuum of Tuen Mun River will be retain. The water quality of Tuen Mun River Channel can be improved by changing the shape of the length of the breakwater, or even introducing water below the land west of Castle Peak Bay, to accelerate mixing in the typhoon shelter.


The water flow of many upstream is cut off by catchwater

Restoring Water Quality

If the point-source pollution problem of Tuen Mun River is resolved, rehabilitation of the river's self-purification capacity may be considered. This will entail: allowing the water currently diverted by dry weather flow interceptors to flow downstream and wash away and dilute pollutants in the water; increasing the area of riverside vegetation to intercept and filter pollutants in surface runoff; restoring natural substrates of the riverbeds and riverbanks, so biological communities can decompose and absorb pollutants.

Dead fish in Tuen Mun River

Rehabilitation of the River

The river landscape is mainly affected by the artificial structures along the river and coast, vegetation (ecological factors), the shape of the river, substrate and garbage, etc. When other mechanisms and functions of the river can be rehabilitated, the river landscape can be restored to a more natural and more acceptable state.

Hong Kong Housing Society commissioned a consultant to conduct a public consultation, to collect public views on beautifying the river. Apart from the water quality and odour problems of Tuen Mun River, the public is also concerned about beautification of the riverbanks and riverside. Through use of the channel's open space, resting, leisure, recreational and other facilities can be provided for the public to enjoy.

The public would like to see more open space and leisure facilities along the riverside

Ecological Restoration

A river's natural ecology relies on its natural hydrological factors, the most fundamental of which are sufficient water and good water quality. Riverbed and riparian sediments and vegetation increase the complexity of the habitats and food sources and remove dams hindering the movements of aquatic organisms are favourable for creating a range of habitats that in turn suit a wide variety of plants and animals, and thus richer biodiversity.

For the ecological restoration in Tuen Mun River Channel, the banks can be covered by natural stones. On the gentle slope of the riverbank, cultivate littoral plants among the rocks provide gradually transitions to terrestrial plants on the shore. If further action is taken to remove pollutants and litter debris from the riverbed, to somewhat restore its natural substrate, the Tuen Mun River Channel, which was built in an area that was a shallow bay, can be gradually returned to the natural state. It will attract creatures inhabiting shallow sea or river mouths.

Increasing complexity of the riparian habitat suits aquatic organisms

Riparian trees provide shade for organisms

Copyright 2010 by Green Power All rights reserved.