Low water pressure causes panic for several households in Penang

GEORGE TOWN: The sudden drop in water pressure due to the shutting down of Penang's largest water treatment plant saw the people scrambling out in panic and stocking up drinking water.

Many were seen rushing to nearby sundry shops and supermarkets to buy cartons of drinking water for consumption at home.

ALSO READ: Parts of Penang hit by water cuts after Baling floods

Shelves and racks of water were cleared and carted out leading to congestion at some major outlets.

Retired businessman who only wanted to be known as Tan, 66, said he purchased two cartons of drinking water as his stock could only last for a day.

"I don't usually boil a lot of water to keep but everyone around is talking about the water disruption.

"Since the drinking water is cheap, it is better I just stock up for emergencies.

"They won't go to waste as we can still keep and consume them later," he said when met at a supermarket in Farlim on Wednesday (July 6).

Housewife Nur Aisyah Ahmad, 36, said family members have alerted her about the water disruption at their workplaces and houses before she decided to go out and join the crowd to stock up drinking water.

"It sounded serious as water disruption usually only occurs within an area but now it is reported in so many places.

"I've heard how some houses which were hit by disasters have struggled without water," she said while pushing a cart full of bottled drinking water.

Many other shoppers who bought water shared similar sentiments of 'better safe than sorry'.

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa earlier said water pressure was resuming and expected to normalise by noon Thursday (July 7).

He said raw water stored in Mengkuang Dam has been released to support production operations at Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and reduce abstraction from Sungai Muda which was considered too turbid.

"PBAPP has projected that water supply pressures in all pipelines throughout Penang would be normalised by 12pm,” he said in a statement.

The Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant which is Penang's largest WTP supplying 80% of the total volume of treated water to Penang was shut down for almost four hours to allow for emergency response procedures as raw water from Sungai Muda turned too turbid to be treated safely.

The temporary shutdown of the Sungai Dua WTP caused water pressures in all major pipelines in Seberang Perai and Penang island to drop.

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