New pipeline to boost Kuala Penyu water supply
Published on: Thursday, February 18, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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Water Department checking the distribution pipes near a homestay in Kuala Penyu.
The Water Department plans to upgrade the distribution mains in parts of Kuala Penyu in the hope of improving supply to consumers in these areas.

A Department spokesman said this work would be implemented as part of the agency’s “projek bekalan air luar bandar” (rural water supply project).

“We tentatively expect to finish installing the new pipeline sometime this year,” he said. 

“The Department is also looking at ways and means to increase tap water supply for the district.” 

Asked about the possibility of a new treatment plant being constructed, he declined to comment. 

“A rationing-exercise is presently being carried out as the demand for tap water has exceeded the output from the existing plant which services Kuala Penyu.

“We advise the public to stock enough water for at least three days, when supply is available in their respective areas.”

He said registered consumers, who found it difficult to get by, could also request to have water sent to them via tanker.

JOH of Kuala Penyu bemoaned the erratic supply to Kg Sawangan which is several kilometres away from the town.

He claimed that the residents only received water between two to three times a week.

“When we do get a supply, it is only available for a few hours in the morning,” he said.

“This is very stressful for those who live alone as there is no one to store water for us when a supply reaches our homes.”

He said it was not convenient to carry out chores as the taps in his house, for the most part, ran dry.

He said this had been going on for the “many years”. 

“Some have to periodically request for water to be delivered to the village, while others have taken to storing the run off during a downpour, just to get by.”

Joh said his neighbours, who operated homestays in the village, found these water woes especially burdensome.

“They find it difficult to attract customers when they are not sure whether there will be a supply for their guests to bathe, yet alone use the toilets.” 

He said he had repeatedly brought these water woes to the Department’s attention.

“On one occasion, the staff actually admitted that the supply to the village was being controlled as I was told that ‘kami hanya ikut arahan pegawai’ (they were merely carrying out their superior’s instructions).”

Some homestay operators have installed balancing tanks to ensure their guests can make use of their facilities.

He said there were several hundred consumers who called Kg Sawangan home. 

The spokesman confirmed that, because of the shortage, some customers in the village only received water for a few hours about three times in a week.

“On those days when no tap water is available, the supply is diverted to the Menumbok area,” he said.

“This is done according to the Department’s schedule.”

He said, in some cases involving consumers with homestays in Kg Sawangan, these water woes were aggravated because their premises were located at the end of the distribution line.

“When taken together with the shortage, this has given rise to the low pressure of the water in the pipes leading to the area.

“Some homestay operators have installed balancing tanks in their compounds which are used to provide their customers with water.” 


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