WE wish to respond to the letter “Water companies should be penalised for current woes” (The Star, Mar 22). The writer claimed that the water quality he received was bad and water companies should be penalised for not managing water resources properly and resulting in the disruption of water supply.
We wish to state that Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) is only responsible for the distribution of treated water supplied by the existing water treatment operators to the consumers in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.
The four water treatment operators that sell treated water to Syabas are Puncak Niaga (M) Sdn Bhd, Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd, Syarikat Pengeluar Air Selangor and Konsortium Air Selangor Bhd.
Thus the quantity of treated water distributed by Syabas is solely dependent on the quantity supplied by these water treatment operators based on their respective concession agreements entered with the Selangor Government.
Currently, the Cheras Mile 11 and Bukit Tampoi water treatment plants (WTP) have been frequently forced to close down since Jan 27 this year due to the ammonia content in Sungai Langat frequently breaching the threshold imposed by the Health Ministry (MOH) for safe drinking standard.
This has caused a loss of 56 million litre per day (MLD) treated water supply for several areas in Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat and Sepang.
At the same time, five WTPs namely Sungai Selangor Phase 1, Sungai Selangor Phase 2, Sungai Selangor Phase 3, Rantau Panjang and Sungai Rasa that are depending on the raw water supply from Sungai Selangor with support from Sungai Selangor dam and two WTPs namely Bukit Nenas and Wangsa Maju that are extracting raw water from Klang Gate dam, are forced to reduce treated water production by 1,030 MLD as the Selangor Government had commenced reduction of raw water release from these dams by similar quantity per day in order to prolong the sustainability of the depleting water storage level in the dams.
The raw water resources are under the responsibility of the Selangor Government. The said responsibility under the legislation clearly states that the Selangor Government is responsible to ensure sufficient and sustainable raw water supply in the river, dams and water catchments with the quality of raw water consistent within the treatable level as stipulated by MOH.
The water supply industry in peninsular Malaysia and Federal Territory of Labuan is governed and regulated by Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Act 655) and enforced by the National Water Services Commission (SPAN), the industry regulator.
The Act is a focused and uniform approach in regulating the water services industry. Policies and decisions pertaining to the industry are also being subjected to the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry.
With regards to the deteriorating trend of the water storage level in Sungai Selangor and Klang Gates dams, and uncertain ammonia contents in Sungai Langat, the Selangor Government has requested for water rationing in certain areas and this was approved by SPAN.
In this aspect, the water rationing plan was prepared by Syabas on the directive from the Selangor Government. The on-going water rationing is implemented under Stage 1, Stage 3 and Stage 4.
The Stage 1 water rationing in Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat and Sepang is due to the closure of Cheras 11 Mile and Bukit Tampoi WTP.
The Stage 3 and 4 water rationing involves Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang/Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor and parts of Kuala Langat, Hulu Langat and Sepang.
The appearance of brownish water when consumers turn on the tap after the water cuts is caused by sediment in the pipe distribution system. The sediment is taken up with the flow of water at the beginning and will disappear after several minutes.
In terms of water quality, the treated water quality parameters are set based on the National Drinking Water Quality Standards enforced by the MOH, and the treated water distributed to the consumers tap is definitely safe for consumption and complies with standards.
Nevertheless, the quality of water at the consumers’ tap especially on colour and odour is also influenced by the internal piping systems including the water tank of the consumers’ premises.
Consumers are strongly advised to check the internal piping systems regularly to ensure it does not affect the quality of water at the premises.
With regards to not paying the water bill as water supply was interrupted, Syabas would like to stress that the water bill is based on the quantity of water consumed.
In the event of water rationing, the consumers may consume less and thus would pay less for their water.
Syabas would like to urge the consumers to extend their cooperation towards the Government’s water rationing plan by conserving water, using water for critical use only and avoiding excessive usage.
The ongoing water rationing was initiated by the Government to ensure sustainability of the depleting raw water level in Sungai Selangor and Klang Gates dams. Water rationing was carried out to ensure consumers continue to receive water supply for their critical needs.
Assistant General Manager
Corporate Communication & Public Affairs
Syabas Sdn Bhd