YET another sewage manhole cover has popped open. This time, at Penang Nursing College in Jalan Residensi.
A blockage somewhere below had caused raw sewage to force the cover up and stinking water has been gushing out since January, pooling on the college’s front lawn.
“When it rains, the gush is worse and all our toilet bowls downstairs will overflow. It’s always smelly here.
“Our canteen is about 10m from the manhole. It has been terrible,” said Penang Nursing College director Khaw Ean Seok.
The sewage flowing out of the gap is so visible that a reader of The Star, C.P. Lee, could see it while driving by.
“I pass by every day and notice that along the fencing, it is always wet. I can see water coming out from the manhole,” Lee wrote to The Star last week.
He feared that the pool could become a mosquito breeding ground and was shocked to find raw sewage collecting at a healthcare facility.
A recent check by The Star revealed that the pooled sewage, with visible fecal matter, has been left so long that yellow-white sewage fungus has grown profusely on the grounds.
Khaw said both Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) had initially denied responsibility.
However, she said, a recent check by MBPP engineers showed that the blockage could have been caused by the council’s drainage works on the road last year.
When contacted, MBPP Engineering Department deputy director A. Rajendran said they had inspected the problem and would engage their contractor to repair the sewer line.
Sewage manhole covers pop open regularly throughout George Town either because of blockages, damaged lines or flooding.