New facility to solve water woes in Sg Bakap

Chow launching the new water treatment plant at Bukit Panchor. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

THE new dissolved air flotation (DAF) water treatment plant at Penang’s Bukit Panchor can improve water shortage problems at Nibong Tebal’s Mukim 5 sub-district, says Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan.

He said the new facility could produce an additional 10 million litres per day (MLD) to about 1,500 accounts, especially in Sungai Bakap.

“This plant will solve water woes in Sungai Bakap, which has been an issue for the past six years,” he told reporters after the opening ceremony of Bukit Panchor DAF plant.

He said the RM18.8mil project was aimed at addressing persistent water shortages in areas such as Mukim 5, where the elevation and end-of-pipeline position had caused slow supply rates.

Pathmanathan said that with the DAF and completion of several other projects, PBAPP would now be supplying an estimated 195.28 MLD of water in south Seberang Perai.

However, he said there were still complaints from consumers who live near high ground and end-of-line neighbourhoods in south Seberang Perai.

He said these could be resolved by PBAPP soon with two additional projects to alleviate water issues in the district.

He explained that water was previously sourced from Sungai Kechil, which could not meet demand during dry seasons.

“Now, water is being drawn from Sungai Dua, a reliable source 60km away, ensuring steady pressure and supply.

“But we must ensure optimal control to prevent supply issues during peak periods,” he added.

Pathmanathan said a task force had been set up in Sungai Bakap and was conducting daily monitoring to ensure the project’s success.

A view of the RM18.8mil facility in Nibong Tebal on mainland Penang. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The StarA view of the RM18.8mil facility in Nibong Tebal on mainland Penang. — Photos: ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

“We need to do trial and error adjustments, control the valves and manage the process.

“Currently there are no more issues, indicating that the water problem has been resolved.”

He said that despite improvements, maintaining optimal water levels was essential as the district still faced a shortage of 100 to 150 MLD, especially during festive seasons.

“Population growth and new housing projects over the past five years have significantly increased demand.

“This, along with industrial growth, has raised water consumption,” he noted.

Pathmanathan said further expansion projects were underway, including new developments along Sungai Kerian.

He said the land acquisition process was currently in progress, with completion expected between 2027 and 2028.

Earlier, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the state government was focused on improving water supply services throughout the state, including in south Seberang Perai.

“Last year, PBAPP invested RM20.52mil in the district, spending RM18.6mil to build this DAF plant and RM1.92mil on other projects to enhance water supply in the area.

“This year, PBAPP plans to invest an additional RM10mil for other projects within the district,” he said in his speech during the opening ceremony.

Chow said this investment was separate from the RM31mil allocated for Package 12A of the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant, which would indirectly benefit local residents from July.

He said that at the same time, PBAPP had invested about RM49.6mil in two projects at Bukit Panchor and Sungai Dua as part of the Water Contingency Plan 2030 (WCP 2030).

From 2024 to 2028, PBAPP plans to invest an additional RM1.134bil to construct four new water treatment plants in the Seberang Perai district and to instal two main pipelines to enhance water pumping capacity to the island.

Chow said the completed and ongoing projects proved that the state government had not neglected residents of the district.

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