Water cuts set to ruin residents Christmas plans

INSENSITIVITY and inconvenience are among the common complaints expressed by residents who will have to deal with water disruption starting today until Christmas Eve.

“It’s a very awkward time since it’s so close to Christmas. We have cousins visiting from the UK but we will have to ask them to stay in a hotel instead of our house,” said Fatima George.

“We’ve had to rush to finish baking cookies and cakes over the weekend, but the cooking will have to be done later using whatever water we have stored.”

The 64-year-old said they understood the need to shut water supply for maintenance works, but the authorities should be more sensitive to the timing.

Her sister Mary George, who runs a daycare service with three children under her care during weekdays, said the water situation would make things difficult.

According to a statement from Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), parts of Klang Valley will face water disruption due to Tenaga Nasional Berhad's (TNB) maintenance works at the Bukit Badong substation.

Section 14 (Jalan 14/1-14/15) Residents Association (RA) chairman Selva Sugumaran Perumal said residents frequently dealt with water disruptions, with at least five incidents a month.

“We’ve lodged complaints with the authorities. But we were told that the pipes here are old and any attempt to create higher pressure would result in burst pipes.

“Some houses in Section 14 are also located on higher ground. But because of the low pressure, it’s difficult for water from the main pipes to be transferred to rooftop water tanks or we’ll only get a trickling supply,” said the 55-year-old.

Because Section 14 residents have had to deal with low water pressure for more than 15 years, Selva said they had learned to cope in different ways.

He has five 80-litre containers at home. Four were used to store water for daily use, while one held rainwater for gardening purposes.

Samuel James, 40, also questioned the timing of the water disruption, which was happening during the festive season and school holidays.

“My wife is a homemaker and will be home with our four children aged one to 10,” he said adding that they would need to prepare for Christmas and had lots of laundry and cleaning to do.

James said he just bought two large water containers to store water, and hoped the authorities would stick to the water supply disruption schedule.

Chandramohan Mohandass said the disruption would be challenging for him, as the occupants in his house were elderly and would not be able to carry heavy buckets of water.

“We’re expecting friends to visit us for Christmas. The disruption will definitely affect our festive preparations,” said the 68-year-old.

Norita Shahir has been relying on direct water supply from the taps, but will have to buy a large container to store water.

“Although only my son and I live in this house, we also have four cats and need to look into caring for them,” said Norita.

Runa Dutt, 39, and her husband Dutt Paritush, 42, residents of Section 14 since 2007 said they were used to burst pipes and having no water.

The insurance agent also said that since they celebrate Christmas, the water disruption had put a damper on their plans to host a gathering at their home.

“We may consider having our Christmas gathering at a restaurant, outside the affected zones, or even postpone it. I’m sure our guests will understand,” said Runa.

Ong Beng Kiat and his wife, who live a few houses down the road, recently welcomed a newborn baby.

“I have a one-month-old baby boy and a four-year-old son. My parents are also down from Perak for the weekend and my sister is back from Geneva.

“So altogether, there are eight of us in the house during this round of water disruption.

“All these factors have to be taken into consideration to plan how much water to store, as the baby needs to be cleaned and his clothes washed more frequently,” said the sales manager.

Ong said he has even shown his eldest son how to ration water when taking a bath.

Section 17 resident Chris Goh, 56, said her family would have to store a lot of water as there were eight people living in her house, including her grandchildren - a 21-month-old toddler and a newborn.

“I hope we will have enough water because a lot of washing is required with two little ones at home.

“We have to use more wet wipes since there won’t be water.

“To add to that, Winter Solstice is on Dec 21 so I don’t know if we are able to cook for our family gathering,” she said, adding that they have a 100-litre water tank that could last for two days.

Syabas said the water supply schedule had been planned from Dec 19 to 24, with affected areas divided into two zones.

For Zone One areas, water will be supplied from 4pm on Dec 20, and disconnected from 9am on Dec 21 and 22.

Water supply will resume from 4pm on Dec 23 and 24.

For Zone Two areas, water will be supplied from 4pm on Dec 21 and 22, and disconnected from 9am on Dec 23 and 24.

“The scheduled supply needs to be implemented to speed up full recovery of water supply to all areas, especially areas at the end of the water distribution system and those on higher ground which usually takes longer to get the supply,” said Air Selangor Group corporate communications head Amin Lin Abdullah.

“The scheduled recovery also helps us manage the deployment of water tankers more effectively according to the zones.

“We believe with these initiatives, the water supply restoration process can be accelerated and water supply fully restored even before Dec 24.”

Amin also cautioned consumers against referring to unofficial water supply schedules and info graphics regarding the matter being circulated on social media.Consumers are advised to refer to www.syabas.com.my, mySyabas smartphone application, facebook.com/airselangor and twitter.com/air_selangor for the correct schedule.

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