RESIDENTS of Section 5, Petaling Jaya are appealing to the authorities to come up with a permanent solution to address a decade-old sewerage problem in the neighbourhood.
The authorities involved are the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) and Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK).
During a site visit to the area, also known as Petaling Garden, Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran said the problem in the area was that about 90 townhouse units (along Jalan 5/44) and a row of two-storey shops (along Jalan 5/51) shared a common sewerage system, which was a communal septic tank (CST).
“A CST system is designed such that two or three houses share a common septic tank, and these properties share the responsibility and cost of maintaining the tank.
“But because these 90 townhouse units share one CST system, it is not easy to get all residents on board to share the responsibilities of maintaining a single septic tank.
“What should be done is to divert sewage from these townhouses to the sewerage treatment plant (STP) system, which is just 200m away, and bill them RM8 per month for the service, ” he proposed.
He highlighted that there were three sewerage systems used in Malaysia.
“One is the STP where the household’s sewer network is connected to IWK’s plants via underground pipelines, while the CST system is a joint responsibility of all owners of the connected premises irrespective of the location of the septic tank.”
The third one, he said, was the individual septic tanks where each owner was responsible for the tanks.
Property owner Chok Main Fui said the CST system had been problematic for the past five years because the sewage would sometimes get stuck and flow back into their houses.
“The lower ground units are more susceptible to wastewater backflow.
“About a month ago, there was a backflow from the sewer and all the wastewater ended up at a neighbour’s house.
“We had to call IWK to desludge the common septic tank, ” he said.
Chok recalled that the problem was especially bad in October last year.
The cost to remove four lorry loads of waste during that operation was borne by Rajiv’s office and two residents.
Rajiv said IWK and SPAN were now in the midst of mapping out the sewerage system and septic tank locations in Petaling Garden.
He urged SPAN to step in as regulator and coordinate the problem for all 90 townhouse units and shops.
“The easiest way is for SPAN to instruct IWK to take over the sewerage system and manage it, so it is fair for all residents and shop owners.
“The CST system is weak and it is unfair to expect all the residents to manage it on their own, ” he said.
A SPAN representative who was present during the site visit said SPAN and IWK were in discussion with residents to come up with a solution to the problem.