Upset over ‘unkind’ water cuts


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 21 Jul 2019

PETALING JAYA: The unscheduled water disruption on Friday evening caught many unawares, with some residents feeling upset that they could not shower after they got home from work.

“I had to skip showering after work because there was no running water for the night. It was uncomfortable,” said Nur Diana Kamarul Zaman, who lives in Section 17 here.

“Luckily, the water returned early the next morning but for the first 15 minutes the water was dirty. I had to ensure it was clean before taking a shower. I have sensitive skin.”

The 21-year-old said she had not made any preparations to store water as the scheduled disruption was to take place only next week.

An estimated three million users were already bracing for water supply disruption from July 23 to 26, following a statement from Air Selangor last Tuesday that the exercise would involve seven districts in the state as well as certain areas in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam.

The disruption, which is to facilitate upgrading works at the Sungai Selangor Phase 1 water treatment plant, has been postponed following Friday’s sudden water cut.

The unexpected disruption also caused hardship to food-and-beverage operators.

“We anticipated trouble with the scheduled cut but the sudden disruption made it difficult for us to run our business,” said Oo Pulun Makan Restaurant manager Ariz Sopyan.

“At the moment, we are using the water reserved for the scheduled cut but it won’t be enough if this problem persists,” he said.

The staff of Selera Simpang Tom Yam Restaurant used water that their boss had brought from home.

“It’s very troublesome.

“The trickling water is insufficient for us to cook,” said one restaurant worker who preferred not to be named.

Bandar Utama 2 (BU2) resident Syed Mohd Taufik Syed Abu Bakar said he experienced low water pressure at his house at 5pm on Friday, with the taps running dry at 8.30pm.

Supply resumed at 9am yesterday, although the water was dirty.

“This was an unkind cut as many residents were unprepared for it. We are also unhappy that the water disruption is happening too often,” he said, adding that his neighbourhood had experienced three disruptions in a year.

“What kind of pollution is it that can result in several treatment plants shut down simultaneously?”

Syed Mohd Taufik said most BU2 residents were relieved that the four-day scheduled cut next week had been called off.

“Because of the regular disruptions, I have bought large drums that are used to store water in my bathrooms and kitchen as emergency supply,” he said.

Similarly, SS2 Selatan residents’ association chairman Lee Yoon Hen said taps ran dry in his neighbourhood on Friday night but supply resumed after 9am yesterday.

“We have a chat group where updates were posted on the situation. When residents on higher ground reported no water, those in the lower area started storing water,” he said.

Lee said they were glad that normal supply returned earlier than expected.

But on Facebook, Wan Nor Adzahari sarcastically describ­ed the water disruptions as an “annual celebration”.

“I moved to Kuala Lumpur two years ago. It seems like water interruptions are annual celebrations here,” she said.

However, water supply was not disrupted for residents in other areas such as Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Kuala Lumpur and Damansara Damai in Petaling Jaya.

According to Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), investigations by Air Selangor, Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) and the Hulu Selangor District Council revealed that pollution was traced to an area in Sungai Liam, Batang Kali, in the district.

Earlier, the Sungai Selangor Phases 1, 2, 3 and Rantau Panjang water treatment plants were shut down due to the pollution incident at Sungai Selangor’s raw water source.

A total of 1.2 million customer accounts in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat were affected by the disruption.

“As of Saturday 3pm, the restoration of the total areas in seven affected regions reached 67%. Water supply in all areas was expected to be fully restored by noon on Wednesday,” a Syabas statement said.

Air Selangor customer relations and communication department head Abdul Raof Ahmad said relief water supply via tankers would continue to be mobilised.

“Given that the scale of the affected area was large, we have activated Local Service Centres and Public Water Taps in several locations.

“Additionally, we will distribute 18,000 units of five-litre bottled water to customers in multi-storey residences,” he said.

He said Syabas was stepping up its efforts to stabilise flow and pressure in the distribution system and to expedite the water supply restoration process to all areas.

Following the incident, Syabas also said that the scheduled water supply interruption planned for next week would be postponed.

For the latest information and status, customers can refer to the Air Selangor mobile app, www.syabas.com.my, “Air Selangor” on Facebook, @airselangor on Twitter or call 15300.


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