Air Selangor to source downstream

KLANG: Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd has initiated various efforts to counter the inconvenience of unscheduled water supply disruptions in the Klang Valley.

One of the initiatives implemented is sourcing water from the downstream flow of a river and storing it in ponds.

Air Selangor chief executive officer Suhaimi Kamaralzaman said these ponds act as river security because their water could be used if river pollution happens.

“If the river is polluted, we can shut the flow of the water into the ponds and draw water from there (the ponds) while the river is being cleaned up, ’’ Suhaimi said recently.

Currently, the Semenyih 2 and Labohan Dagang water treatment plants use this method and more plants are being built to take advantage of storage ponds.

Suhaimi explained that the old method of building treatment plants only tapped upstream water as opposed to downstream water as the latter was generally dirtier.

“The further downstream, the dirtier the water is typically, so these retaining ponds act as a pre-treatment process to ensure water that is let into the plants is clean, ’’ he said.

According to Suhaimi, the old method of building plants located them upstream near the mountains to facilitate water to be pumped from there.

“That was the more conventional method of building water treatment plants in the 1980s and 1990s, ’’ said Suhaimi, adding that this started changing as technology improved.

He said that Air Selangor is one of the pioneers of the technology and was shortlisted for a Global Water Award.

“We were one of four public water companies that were shortlisted for the awards in Spain in April 2020 but we could not go because of the Covid-19 restrictions, ’’ said Suhaimi.

The other three shortlisted water companies were from India, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

He added that one of the criteria mentioned in Air Selangor’s submission to the awards was the off-river water storage system.

“It impressed them (the awards organisers) a lot in terms of a newer way of approaching water treatment, ’’ he noted.

Suhaimi said Air Selangor would also be using the method to build the Rasau treatment plant downstream of the Klang River in the next four years.

“We are taking it downstream and putting the water in a series of eight ponds, and then drawing water from that.

“The new plant is timely as there is a huge demand for water in Klang and we are trying to meet it by bringing downstream water closer to where the demand is, ’’ said Suhaimi.

He added that while river pollution could not be completely stopped in the near future, the turnaround time would be much faster with this method in the event of any water supply disruption.

Given that the Rasau water treatment plant is relying on relatively dirty downstream water, Air Selangor is putting in place measures to ensure the water is properly cleaned.

“We are working with our overseas partners to make sure sufficient technology is in place to cater for the treatment processing required, ’’ said Suhaimi.

One of the methods being looked at is pre-ozonation, which is technically using ozone to disinfect the water before it is drawn into the plant.

“The dirtier the water, the costlier the technology but if it needs to be done, we will do it, ’’ he added.

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