ALTHOUGH Malaysia has made rapid progress in the sewerage industry, reflected in the vast connected network, certain areas in our country are still unconnected to the sewerage network, adopting traditional systems such as the individual septic tank (IST) and the communal septic tank (CST). Currently, there are approximately 1.35 million septic tanks in the country, while traditional systems such as troughs and latrines are estimated to be around 870,000.
An individual septic tank is a tank that is located underground, either on the front, back or side of the house. Septic tanks that comply with the standards stipulated serve as a tank that collects wastewater from a house and has a limited treatment capacity. The main purpose is only to collect wastewater from daily activities at home such as bathing, laundry cleaning or dishwashing, and toilet usage. As wastewater is collected in the septic tank, coarse and heavy particles will settle at the bottom of the tank, forming sludge while clean water will flow out from the surface of the tank to the drain or ditch.
These tanks need to be emptied at least once every two years to prevent the accumulated sludge from hardening. If the sludge hardens, incoming wastewater will pass through the tank without undergoing any treatment and when it enters the nearby drainage and eventually the rivers, pollution occurs, leading to the death of aquatic lives. Imagine a scenario whereby the 1.35 million individual septic tanks and 870,000 traditional toilets are not regularly desludged.
As sludge accumulates and hardens in the tanks, incoming wastewater from houses or buildings flow out of the tanks without any treatment. What is more worrisome is when wastewater that does not undergo treatment flows out through the drainage into the river or seeps into the ground. When this happens, water resources from rivers and under the ground will be contaminated, giving rise to water-borne diseases such as typhoid, cholera and Hepatitis A. The probability of contracting diarrhoea from drinking water that is contaminated with germs is very high, potentially leading to organ failure and even fatality.
Therefore, to mitigate environmental pollution and threat to public health, it is important for owners of septic tanks or traditional toilets to obtain scheduled desludging service from Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK). IWK’s services are carried out in accordance with the standards stipulated by the authorities to ensure that all desludged sewage is given proper and effective treatment in their sewage treatment plants.
We can imagine the implications should owners of septic tanks and traditional toilets do not empty their tanks regularly. The impact on public health due to water-borne diseases stemming from contaminated water sources will result in the death of many people. The country will suffer a huge loss when its citizens are stricken with such a disaster, denting the nation’s economy.
As such, septic tank and traditional toilet owners are advised to immediately desludge their septic tanks without any further delay. Do it for the benefit of yourself, your family and the health of the public, and care for our water sources.
IWK is also conducting a Sedut dan Menang campaign to encourage owners of septic tanks and traditional toilets to desludge their tanks. The campaign began on April 1 and will end on Sept 30. There is an opportunity for customers to win attractive prizes including travel packages to South Korea or to perform their pilgrimage as well as various gifts such as motorcycles, electrical appliances, gold bars and more.
As responsible septic tank and traditional toilet owners, you should desludge your tanks and in the process stand a chance to win these amazing prizes from IWK. For more information, visit www.iwk.com.my or download the Indah Water mobile application through Apple Store or Google Play Store.