PORT KLANG: Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) has lost about RM1.5mil due to 45 cases of water theft since January this year, the majority of which were in commercial areas.
Syabas projects and non-revenue water executive director Yusof Badawi said the department had taken action against those involved in all the cases, including enforcement action to reclaim lost revenue.
"According to the records, Syabas has received and investigated 481 cases of water theft. Out of this, 45 were classified as genuine with loss of water estimated at 746,000 cubic metres," he told reporters after a raid and disconnection exercise of illegal pipes at a fertilizer warehouse in Port Klang on Thursday.
Yusof said stealing water from the Syabas main pipes at a time when there was shortage of water would only worsen the situation as it could lead to wastage and affect the water supply.
He said stealing water would reduce water pressure causing consumers to have water shortage.
On the operations today, Yusof said investigations found the warehouse area used illegal water supply through connections to Syabas water pipes without a valid meter.
"Syabas estimated the losses in treated water consumed illegally at the premise at 288,000 cubic metres or valued at RM656,000.
"Our investigations, carried out for more than a week, found the warehouse using an illegal water supply since this area was developed eight years ago, and a check into their accounts found that the premises did not have a valid water supply account," he said.
Yusof also said chlorine tests confirmed that samples of water supply at the warehouse showed that it was from Syabas.
In the raid, he said the department had issued notice of offence and enforcement action to claim compensation from the warehouse management.
"Any individual or parties found to siphoning water illegally are committing an offence under Section 123 (1) of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 which carries a maximum penalty of RM100,000 or imprisonment of one year, or both," he said. - Bernama