DEWAN Jubli Perak in Bangunan Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in Shah Alam is the first government building in the state to adopt rainwater harvesting.
The water conservation system will cater to the toilet flushing of about 16 restrooms located within the public banquet hall.
Based on estimates, the hall required about 3,000 litres of water for its toilet flushing system during weekdays and 10,000 litres on weekends.
The galvanised steel storage tank with a capacity of 100,000 litres, is expected to fulfill 75% of the hall’s needs, said Selangor executive councillor Elizabeth Wong in her speech during the launch of the new system with Selangor Mentri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali.
The project is a collaboration between the Economic Planning Unit and National Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia (Nahrim).
Construction of the system, built at a cost of RM250,000, began in June last year and was completed within five months.
The non-potable (cannot be used for consumption) water system is expected to address the wastage of treated water.
According to Nahrim, about one litre of treated water is flushed down the drain per toilet visit. On days when the hall is running at full capacity, no less than 16,000 litres of clean water is flushed down the drain.
Nahrim hydraulic and instrumentation director Mohd Fauzi Mohamad pointed out that harvesting rainwater was not new.
“The practice used to be inherent in our culture. Growing up in the kampung, I’d bathe using rainwater. But in today’s city lifestyle, it has become all too convenient to turn on a pipe and forget where water comes from,” he said.
On water cuts which are likely to happen with the impending dry season between April and September, Fauzi said rainwater harvesting could address the issue to a certain extent but not totally.
However, it might be worthwhile to consider the benefits from the savings aspect, which is as much as 40%, he added.
“We have been conducting studies on this since 2002.
“Just by using rainwater in our laboratory in Seri Kembangan, for example, we can save as much as RM18,000 a month,” he said.
In addition to savings, the institute is also working towards treating rainwater to be safe for drinking.
Wong said developers are entitled to discounts under the Infrastructure Service Fund, which was pertaining to the Green Building Index.
She appealed to all sectors, including the industrial and domestic sectors, to ration water usage to prepare for the impending dry spell.
“Statistics show that a Malaysian can use up to 200 liters of water a day. This is something to worry about.
“If we are to be a progressive state, we have to find ways to reduce wastage. However, this statistic may include non-revenue water, so we are looking at ways to reduce this as well,” she said.