Treated water quality in Penang unaffected by discharge from duck farm, says PBAPP

GEORGE TOWN: The discharge from a duck farm in Sungai Lembu, which led to the pollution of two rivers in Kedah, did not affect the quality of treated water in Penang, says the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP).

Its chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan said that water quality tests jointly conducted by the PBAPP and the Penang Health Department found no significant changes in the water quality in Sungai Kulim, a raw water source in Seberang Prai.

"PBAPP tested the quality of raw water abstracted from all raw water resources in Penang as well as treated water from all its water treatment plants (WTP).

"Over the past 10 days, PBAPP's tests have not revealed any major violation of the water test parameters set by the Health Ministry," he said in a statement on Wednesday (Feb 21).

Pathmanathan said this procedure ensures that PBAPP-treated water complies with the quality assurance programme (QAP) parameters set by the Health Ministry.

He added that the PBAPP would continue to be vigilant in monitoring water quality to ensure it is safe for consumption.

"PBAPP would like to assure all water consumers in Penang that we will report any water quality issues detected in a precise and prompt manner," he said.

Meanwhile, Pathmanathan said that during rainy seasons, raw water from Sungai Kulim is pumped to refill the 86.4 billion litres of the Expanded Mengkuang Dam (EMD), Penang's largest dam.

On a daily basis, he said raw water from Sungai Kulim is abstracted for treatment at the Bukit Toh Allang WTP in Seberang Prai Utara.

This WTP produces 40 million litres of water per day (MLD), which is supplied to 17,462 consumers nearby.

"The primary raw water resource for the Sungai Dua WTP is Sungai Muda and not Sungai Kulim and PBAPP's primary responsibility is to continuously supply safe and clean treated water to 689,786 water consumers in Penang," he said.

Pathmanathan, however, said that PBAPP is a licensed water supply operator and not a regulatory body.

As such, he hoped that appropriate regulatory action would be taken to consistently protect Penang's raw water resources such as rivers and streams.

On Sunday, the media reported that the Environment Department found suspected pig farm waste discharge from a Sungai Lembu village farm, causing pollution in Sungai Kulim and Air Merah in Seberang Prai Tengah district.

However, checks conducted by the Penang Veterinary Services Department, Environment Department and the Seberang Prai City Council on Monday (Feb 19) revealed that the pollution originated from a duck farm releasing waste that flowed into Sungai Air Merah and Sungai Kulim. – Bernama

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