Burst pipe causes dry taps in Kinarut
Published on: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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A Dept worker bends down to access the damaged Kinarut pipe, after the trench had been excavated.
DAMAGE to a section of the water distribution mains servicing one part of Kinarut disrupted the supply to consumers there for some time recently.

A Water Department spokesman said its staff found a leak at a section of the transmission line along the access road to Kg Langsat.

“The nine-inch pipe had burst. We suspect that this happened due to the wear and tear on the structure over the years,” he said.

He said it took a few days to complete this work, before the supply could be restored.

“The hold-up was partly due to the difficulties in finding the spare parts needed for the repairs.

“The type of transmission main is no longer being manufactured. Even the clamp needed for the work cannot be bought in Kota Kinabalu.”

He said the Department was forced turn to outstation sources to locate suitable replacements. 

“We had to wait for the new parts to arrive from Tawau before the pipe could be attended to.”

Some of the spare parts which could not be sourced in Kota Kinabalu are shown above.

He said the affected consumers regained their tap water, once sufficient pressure had built up in the pipes.”

“Nevertheless, in view of the 

problems we faced in carrying the recent repairs, we are seriously looking into the possibility of upgrading the main distribution pipes around the town.

“We hope that this might improve the supply to our customers here.”

The agency was weighing up the possibility of replacing the existing pipes with those of a newer variety and bigger diameter, according to him.

“This has the added benefit of allowing us to push more treated water to this area.

He said the Department was aware that the pressure of the supply, coming from taps in the village, was occasionally weak.

“While trying to decide how sort out these water woes, we might try to do some balancing to allow more treated water to reach these residents.” 

GRAYSON of Kinarut bemoaned the inconvenience caused by the lack of water in his home in Kg Langsat.

“The water in our storage tank is almost depleted,” he said, adding that the taps in his home had run dry for the past six days.

“We have taken to drinking bottled water and not taking our meals at home because of this.”

He said, prior to this, the supply had been erratic.

The consumer’s meter is being reconnected in this part of Putatan.

Grayson vented his frustrations about the low water pressure which the hundred-or-so households in the village had noticed over the past few months.

He said the supply woes, caused by the trickle available to them, made it difficult for him and his neighbours to do their laundry, let alone clean their homes.  

He claimed that the taps frequently ran dry whenever it rained heavily.

“I do not understand why this is so. I would have thought that an abundance of water would be a boon for water production, instead of a hindrance.”

Grayson said he had tried contacting the Department several times about these problems. 

Meanwhile an oversight on the part of the agency’s staff resulted in the delay which a Putatan consumer experienced in having her supply reconnected, after she had cleared her outstanding charges.

The spokesman apologised, on behalf of the Department, for the delay, saying it was not intentional.

“Due to Covid-related restrictions, we only have a limited number of personnel reconnecting the supply of consumers whose tap water has been cut,” he said. 

“They have been swamped, off late, in dealing with defaulters and putting back the meters at those premises from which these devices have been removed. 

CHAM of Putatan came home in the evening on a recent Wednesday to find that the taps in her home had run dry.

“I, initially, thought that this was because of a shutdown as my neighbour was also without a supply,” she said. 

“It was only after we had checked our meters that we realised our supply had been cut.”

A manpower shortage is holding up efforts to have water- meters restored to defaulters who have settled their outstanding charges.

She said her spouse settled the household’s outstanding charges at the Department the next afternoon.

He was apparently told that the supply would be reconnected later that same day, according to her.

“Despite this assurance, the Department’s staff failed to make good on their word.

“I couldn’t understand how this could be, as my neighbour had her supply restored on Thursday.” 

At the time that Cham contacted Hotline, she had been without tap water for more than three days.

“I couldn’t cook for my family and my children had to go to school without taking a bath.” 

The resident provided Hotline with her billing particulars. This information was forwarded to the agency. 


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