Families in three neighbourhoods want permanent solution to 30-year issue

Wong filling up a bottle with filtered water. He says whenever disruptions occur, his neighbours will lodge complaints to the water authority.

FOR the past 30 years, residents in three housing areas in Ipoh, Perak, have been putting up with frequent water supply disruptions.

Families in Taman Ipoh Timur, Taman Perak and Taman Kaya face at least three water cuts in a month and have lodged numerous complaints to the Perak Water Board (LAP).

Retiree Thomas Wong, 58, who stays in Taman Ipoh Timur, said the supply disruptions would occur unexpectedly.

“There is no prior notice given to us.

“Just imagine when you have to cook or clean and suddenly there is no water,” he said during a press conference held by Canning assemblyman Jenny Choy.

“I decided to buy a water tank, but not many can afford to do so.

“We want a permanent solution to this issue,” said Wong, who has been staying in the area for over three decades.

He said that whenever such disruptions occurred, his neighbours would lodge complaints to the water authority.

“There was one time recently when the water cut lasted for over 12 hours.

“Some of my neighbours called LAP and they came to our area with a water tanker,” he said.

“We were told that some pipes might have burst and the piping system was old, which could be the reason for the frequent disruptions here.

“Whenever the supply resumes, the water is murky and we have to let it flow for some time before using it.

“It is frustrating to live and put up with this kind of situation,” he added.

Another long-time resident, Cheong Kok Hong, recalled when the area suffered both a power outage and water supply disruption on the same day not so long ago.

“We felt so helpless being without electricity and water supply,” he said.

He added that residents were stressed over the frequent and unannounced water supply disruptions.

“Before the movement control order, my family and I could stay at our house in Gopeng or get our relatives to send us clean water.

“In this current period, we have no choice but to buy water,” said Cheong, 61.

“If the pipes are old, replace them.

“There should be a permanent solution instead of temporary measures,” he added.

Choy said she had contacted LAP to resolve the issue.

“We hope LAP will look into this seriously as it is a problem that is affecting many people,” she said.

When contacted, Perak infrastructure, energy, water and public transportation chairman Datuk Mohd Zolkafly Harun said LAP received a total of five reports over the frequent disruptions and a burst water pipe which happened only once on June 21.

“It took quite a while for the repairs to be carried out.

“However, LAP provided several water tanks to the affected areas.

“LAP has also identified what needs to be done to ensure the residents will not face disruptions again.

“The release on water pressure will be controlled to prevent pipes from bursting,” he said.

“There are plans to upgrade and replace the old and broken pipes but due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it may take a longer time for it to be completed,” Zolkafly added.

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