Mandatory desludging of septic tanks starts June 1

Some ISTs in Kuala Lumpur are not connected to the treatment plant in Pantai.

BEGINNING June 1, it is mandatory for house owners with individual septic tanks (IST) to desludge their ISTs within their premises.

Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) chief executive officer Narendran Maniam told StarMetro that IWK would be carrying out the desludging service.

Individual septic tanks are those located below the ground, either in front, at the back or on the side of the house.

Narendran said older houses that had septic tanks must be cleaned once every two years.

“This is important because kitchen waste goes directly into the drain and eventually, it will end up in the river, which is bad for the environment, ” he said.

In Kuala Lumpur, Narendran said, there were still about 10% to 12% of households with septic tanks that were not connected to the main treatment plant in Pantai.

Many households in old neighbourhoods in Petaling Jaya like Jalan Gasing, Jalan Barat, and Jalan Timur had ISTs.

He said there were about 1.3 million premises using septic tanks in the country and 90% did not maintain their ISTs on a regular basis.

The Environment and Water Ministry had recently mandated that houseowners must clean their septic tanks once in two years as per the Water Services Industry Act (Desludging Services) 2021, which took effect on March 30 this year.

Notices to carry out desludging works will be issued in stages beginning next month.

Narendran said desludging was crucial to prevent the public from being exposed to water-borne diseases such as cholera, hepatitis and pollution.

The public has been advised to look out for IWK notices in the mail for the scheduled services.

Those who do not respond will be issued a reminder within 14 days.

Owners who still refuse to do so can be fined under Section 61 of the Water Services Industry Act 2006.

IWK charges for desludging services are RM48 (low-cost housing), RM72 (village homes and plantations) and RM144 (government premises, quarters and private residential homes).

IWK can be contacted at 03-2083 2828 or visit

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