Dept says water being send to Telipok folks
Published on: Wednesday, November 24, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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UCA2 tenants queue to get some treated water from the blue tanks behind one of the lorries hired by the MC.
TANKERS are sending treated water to commercial and residential areas around Telipok, including University Condominium Apartments Phase 2 (UCA2), while the Water Department waits to restore the newly repaired pump at its Telibong 1 Treatment Plant.

A Department spokesman said the engine for device burnt out during a power surge at the Plant in the second week of the month.

“Our concessionaire hopes to reinstall the pump between Friday and Sunday,” he said on November 23.

“Once this is done, it will take a few days to make up for the drop in production from the Plant.”

He said, under normal circumstances, a total of 74 million litres of treated water was generated daily at Telibong 1. With only three pumps operational at the facility since November 12, this output has fallen by 13 per cent, according to him.

“Since then, the Department’s tankers have been delivering treated water to parts of the Northern Region of the State Capital.”

He said the concessionaire’s tankers had also been roped in to facilitate these relief efforts.

“For months, we have been facing an uphill task trying to ensure that all our consumers in Telipok, Manggatal and Inanam get some tap water.

“A rationing-exercise has been implemented in these towns for this purpose. The pump-related problems at the Plant has made the situation exceedingly worse.”

The spokesman said there were six water pumps at Telibong 1, four for daily use with the remainder on standby.

“Periodic maintenance is carried out monthly on these devices. But since the recent breakdown, the concessionaire been monitoring the remaining pumps more closely to ensure that they do not malfunction.” 

For the past two weeks, the Department’s tankers have come to UCA2 daily to try and replenish the supply in the ground tank.

He said plans were underway to replace the pumps as the existing devices were prone to malfunctioning due to wear and tear.

“The pumps were first installed some time in the ‘80s and many of the individual components have long since become obsolete.

“We intend to get them upgraded to newer models which operate on a ‘VFN system’.”

He said the agency’s concessionaire hoped to change two of the pumps by the middle of December.

“The same will be done for the rest by February next year.”

He said the ‘VFN system’ would minimise the possibility of electrical surges occurring each time one of the pumps was reinstalled after repairs were made.

A spokesman for the UCA2 Management Company confirmed that the Department had sent tankers everyday to the property since these water woes began in the second week of November.

“Sometimes, as many as 10 tankers have tried to replenish our ground tank while, at other times, four of these vehicles have come to UCA2,” he said.

“For the past 11 days, there has been no incoming supply through the Department’s distribution mains connected to the water meter for the property.”

He said the firm expected to begin receiving treated water via these pipes again after November 29.

“In the meantime, we have resorted to switching off our pump if the level of the water inside the UCA2 ground tank drops below 1.5 metres.

“The MC has engaged lorry drivers to transport a supply in blue water tanks around the 40 apartment blocks here. 

“Our tenants can bring their buckets and empty containers to be filled from the two tanks at the back of these lorries.”

Many of these private operators, however, have already committed their services to assisting the Department’s concessionaire, according to him.

“Only asked for some 20 trips to be made to UCA2 but only four such visits have been made so far.”

NORI, who lives on the second floor at one of the blocks on the property, bemoaned the lack of a supply in her apartment.

She claimed that, initially, her tap water had been reduced to a trickle.

After a day, she said not a drop was available.

“It is very inconvenient as my taps have run dry for the past two weeks,” she said.

“Only the sound of air moving can be heard when the taps are turned on.

“From time to time, me and my family travel to my in-law’s place in Likas just to bathe and use the toilet there.”

Nori said she and her neighbours had contacted the Department and MC several times about their predicament but the situation had yet to improve. She admitted that it was very stressful to live in UCA2 under these circumstances.

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