Sewage: Firm slammed for taking easy way out
Published on: Thursday, November 25, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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Posts have been installed to prevent tanker drivers from using this ‘short-cut’ to reach the ponds.
A company, involved in transporting the contents from septic tanks around the State Capital to oxidation ponds on Jalan Pintas Ujana in Inanam, has been taken to task for failing to adhere to City Hall’s instructions on how this sewage should be disposed.

A driver with the firm was apparently using a short-cut which he shouldn’t to access the ponds.

On top of this, the sludge was not being properly discharged into the water. 

Some of this waste, including human stool, was winding up on the land beside the ponds, which was not far from the backyards of homes in one part of Ujana Kingfisher.

A tanker correctly discharges the sludge through a hole in the embankment for one of the ponds.

One homeowner expressed his concern about the negative impact the haphazard disposal of this sludge was likely to have on the well-being of those living in the area.

The individual wrote to Hotline, stating the time and date when he had most recently noticed this goings-on.  

His letter was forwarded to City Hall and the Department of the Environment (DOE). 

A spokesman for City Hall’s Engineering Department said an investigation revealed that one of the firm’s staff was taking “the easy way out” to dispose of the sludge.

“The road, which the driver had been using, had previously been fenced off,” he said.

“The fencing was removed a while back so that the stretch could be repaired. 

“For whatever reason, the fence was not reinstated afterwards by the party that attended to the road.”

He said the agency had since put up “GI posts” to bar entrance to the road.

“The only way to reach the ponds is through a road located about 100-feet away from where the posts have been placed.

“The company has been reminded of this and told not to discharge the sewage closer to the neighbourhood again in future.

“The firm was also instructed to empty the sludge directly into the ponds and to avoid soiling the surrounding land. 

The spokesman said the firm had also been asked to clear the waste which had been indiscriminately dumped on the pond reserve.

“The company’s workers used a high-pressure jet to hose the sewage into bodies of water a few days later.

“Spot-checks will be made of the firm’s efforts from now on. We will not hesitate to withdraw our approval if it fails to comply with our instructions.”

He said the company was one of five responsible for clearing septic tanks in areas ranging from Inanam and the central business district for Kota Kinabalu to Dah Yeh Villa and the Time Square area.

The oxidation ponds process the sludge from areas ranging from Inanam to Times Square in Sembulan.

“The sludge is supposed to be discharged into one of the two ponds and is broken down by the anaerobic bacteria inside.

“This is the only large-scale oxidation facility which the State Capital has.” 

ANWAR of Inanam said he had seen tankers going into some land behind his house off Lorong Ujana.

“They come at night, most times around 10pm,” he said. 

“I know this because I can hear the sound of vehicles being reversed down the road which enters this property.”

He shared his observations with one of his neighbours who claimed that solid waste was being dumped on the road-side to the property.

“Such a practice is not just unhygienic but sure to have a bad effect on the health of those of us who stay near the land.”

Anwar hoped the local authorities would accord some priority to dealing with this problem before serious harm was done to households in this part of the neighbourhood.

“I have sent letters to City Hall and the DOE about what is transpiring here.”

Workers, with a company which clears septic tanks around KK, hosing down the sewage from the reserve into the oxidation ponds.

A DOE spokesman acknowledged receipt of this document, saying it liaised with the former agency a day later.

“This was done as the ponds are part of a sewage treatment plant which belongs to City Hall,” he said.

“We were assured that City Hall would look into the homeowner’s concerns and take the necessary steps to address any impropriety which was taking place near Ujana Kingfisher.” 

He said, a week later, DOE officers inspected the area and found that the access point, closer to the neighbourhood, had been blocked off.

“We noticed that there was only one road which could be used to reach the ponds and the gate to this stretch was padlocked.”

The spokesman said the DOE had officially apprised the complainant of its findings.

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