Reverse Osmosis Plant project of Sri Lanka

Navy took initiative by designing a low cost RO plant at her Research and Design Wing. The architect of the project was Commander ( then) M C P Dissanayake, (Dissa), Indian trained Marine Engineer.

by Admiral Ravindra C Wijegunaratne 

Guess what you see above. It is the GPS location map of indigenously built Reverse Osmosis plants (Water purification plants). 900 plants already installed and working efficiently. Each plant is run by a specially trained sailor. Each plant can provide daily up to 10,000 liters of clean drinking water, better quality than you get in bottled water.

 So, it’s a island-wide project which provide 9 million liters of clean drinking water daily FREE to general public. 

Project started after a small discussion at Funeral house of one sailor’s father at Medawachchiya, who died of Chronic Kidney Disease (CDK), a deadly diétese which spread like a wild fire in North Central province of Sri Lanka, known as Rice Bowl of our country. Cause for this disease is consumption of contaminated drinking and cooking water. 

Navy took initiative by designing a low-cost RO plant at her Research and Design Wing. The architect of the project was Commander ( then) M C P Dissanayake, (Dissa), Indian trained Marine Engineer. Today he is promoted to Commodore ( one star) and heading R and D Wing of Kothalawala Defence University ( KDU). Imported RO plant with 10,000 liters output daily was cost approximately Rs 3.8 million. The building and fully installation cost approximately Rupees five million. Dissa’s indigenously built plant full installation cost only Rs 1.4 million.

Every Officer and sailor contributed Rs 30/= from their pay each month and this money went into non public fund known as “Naval Socia Responsibility Fund ( NSRF). First plant installed in Kadawath Rambewa on 22nd December 2015. This small village itself had 250 CKD patients in 2015.

Project to provide 900 RO plants mainly covering North Central province, where CKD was widely spread with more than 30,600 patients in 2015. Most of them were farmers of early 50 years of age, who were the rice producers to our country. 

Navy took six years to complete the project, under five Navy Commanders, namely Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne, Admiral Travis Sinniah, Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe, Admiral Piyal De Silva and present Commander Vice Admiral Nishantha Ulugethenna. Project total cost approximately 1260 million (1.260 billion) rupees. Main contributor to project was Presidential Task Force to Eradicate CDK ( under then President Mitreepala Sirisena) , Naval Social Responsibility Fund, MTV Gammedda, individual local and foreign donors and various organizations. Their contributions are for a very worthy cause to save lives of innocent people.

Our Navy’s untiring effort showed the World what they are capable of. Navy is a silent force. What they do out at sea has seen only few. This great effort by the Navy also noticed few but appreciated by humble people who are benefited every day to be away from deadly CKD.

Reverse Osmosis process required power. Each plant consumes approximately Rs 11500/- worth power from main grid monthly. This amount brought down to affordable Rs 250/- per month electricity bill by fixing solar panel to RO plant building roofs.

Another project, to fix medical RO plants to hospitals having Dialysismachines. SLN produced fifty medical RO plants and distributed among hospitals with DialysisMachines. Cost for each unit was Rs 1.5 million, where an imported plant would have cost 13 million rupees each.

Statue of King Mahasen
(277 to 304 BC)

Commodore (E) M C P Dissanayake won the prize for best research paper in KDU international Research Conference 2021 for his research paper to enhance RO plant recovery from 50% to 75%. He will start this modification to RO plants soon making them more efficient. Clean drinking water is precious for mankind. Our Navy has realized it very well. 

In our history, King Dutugemunu (regained from 161 BC to 137 BC), United the country after 40 years and developed agriculture and Buddhism. But King Dutugemunu was never considered as a god or deified. 

However, King Mahasen (277 to 304 AD) who built more than 16 major tanks was considered as a God after building the Minneriya tank. (Minneriya Deviyo). 

Navy can be proud as already people in North Central Province has highest gratitude to Navy for providing clean drinking and cooking water to them free daily. That gratitude is for saving them and their children from deadly CKD. 

Well done Our Navy ! Bravo Zulu ! 


The writer retired from Sri Lanka Navy and Former Chief of Defence Staff


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