Water Dept says supply to Telipok now better
Published on: Friday, September 10, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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The Department aims to step up its maintenance of the water-pumps for the neighbourhood.
The Water Department has modified the distribution line servicing Taman Putra Perdana in a bid to improve the supply to Telipok consumers here, especially those living on higher ground.

A spokesman for the agency said the modifications involved a section of the water mains which channels the incoming supply to the ground tanks for the property and then back into its system.

“We hope these changes will allow sufficient tap water to reach all the homes here, including those in Phase 3 which have been built on a slope,” he said.

He said the supply to Phase 3 consumers was prone to being erratic as the pressure in the transmission pipes was not strong enough to push the treated water up the incline.

Department staff in the process of modifying the pipe line to the ground tanks for Taman Putra Perdana.

“We will also step up efforts to check on the condition of our equipment in the neighbourhood to ensure that they do not break down.”

He said special attention would be given to the pumps near the ground tanks, which needed to be manually reactivated from time to time.

“The staff, tasked with doing this, has been asked to be more mindful of any electricity disruptions in the area and to make his way to our pump-house, as soon as he can, after the power comes back.

“He may be required to switch on the pumps in some instances.”

The spokesman explained that these devices operated on an automated system.

“A sensor is supposed to switch the pumps off, when the water levels in the tanks are low, and switch them on, when the levels next reach the required height.”

He said repairs were made to the control panel for this equipment in July as one of the power trips had damaged a component inside.

“We are monitoring the water situation in the neighbourhood. 

“If it becomes unmanageable, we may consider installing an isolation valve to control the flow of water between consumers on the lower ground and those staying higher up.”

Water was seen gushing out at the base of this tank.

The spokesman was responding to a Taman Putra Perdana homeowner’s complaint about the intermittent supply which he and his neighbours in Phase 3 had been receiving for the past two weeks.

RAFIK of Telipok said tap water was only available sporadically following a scheduled electricity shutdown in the area towards the end of August.

He said Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd had forewarned those staying in the neighbourhood about the five-hour outage two days earlier.

“We were made to understand that some critical repairs, as well as work to clean and maintain the overhead lines, needed to be carried out during this period,” he said. 

“The power in Taman Putra Perdana went off around 10am and was restored precisely at 3pm. 

“The water to our homes, however, came in fits and starts. On some days, I only got half a kettle of water before my taps ran dry. On others, I could only fill two mineral bottles before the supply vanished.”

He said there were also numerous instances when only the sound of rushing air could be heard if the taps were turned on.

“I suspect that the water-pumps might have been affected by the shutdown and were not functioning as they should.”

Rafik shared his suspicions with the Department’s staff during one of the many reports he made to the agency about the water woes in the neighbourhood.

At one stage, he caught sight of some activity inside the compound where the pump-house and ground tanks were situated.

“Several personnel were looking at the tanks and the connections between them.

“After they had gone, I noticed that one of the tanks was damaged as water was gushing out from it.”

He said these efforts did little to ease the difficulties he had in receiving tap water. To make matters worse, on the first Sunday in September the neighbourhood was hit with a blackout.

The pressure of the supply from the tanks being tested after the modification works were done.

“The prolonged water woes with no counter measures by the supplier is absolutely unacceptable.

“In the private industry, the CEO would have been here after the second day of these problems, co-ordinating with the people on the ground about possible contingencies involving portable equipment. For instance, standby pumps in place of the malfunctioning ones.”

Rafik admitted that he and his neighbours were “at wits end” over the irregular supply.

“We do not how much longer we will last without sufficient water to at least clean ourselves so that we do not inadvertently wind up catching Covid-19.”

When asked about what had transpired inside the pump-house compound, the spokesman declined to comment.

He said a tanker went to the neighbourhood, at one point, to replenish the ground tanks for the neighbourhood.

“After the modifications to our transmission line were completed, our staff checked on the water-pressure of the outgoing and incoming supply to the tanks.

“They noted that the strength of the supply was ‘1 bar’ which was ‘good’. 


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