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Kinarut folks only getting water at odd hours
Published on: Thursday, December 02, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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Taman Tebobon residents filling up their containers with water from one of the Department’s tankers.
CONSUMERS in a Kinarut neighbourhood have been urged to get water tanks to weather the difficulties caused by the erratic supply which the town has been experiencing for some time.

A Water Department spokesman said these receptacles should have a capacity of, at least, 200 galleons.

“The tanks will allow them to store tap water when it is available in their respective areas,” he said.  

He said it was best to set up these receptacles closer to the front yard instead of at the back.

“Those with tanks behind might not be able to replenish their supply if our tankers have to deliver treated water to them.

“There have been numerous instances where the hose from the vehicle has not been long enough to reach the back yard.”

The spokesman explained that, during the day, some Kinarut residents might find that the pressure of their supply was weak or, worse still, that their taps had run dry.

“Once offices and shops close for the day, the pressure at these same premises improves.

Tankers have been sending treated water to the various properties around the Northern region of KK for the past 3 weeks.

“This is because more consumers draw tap water during office hours, rather than at night, and our Kogopon Treatment Plant cannot keep up with the day time demand.”

He said the Department was keeping tabs on the water-situation to ensure that a supply reached commercial and residential properties around the town.

The spokesman was responding to a Kinarut consumer’s displeasure about the intermittent tap water which those in Taman Limauan had been receiving.

The homeowner said a supply was available at odd hours of the day and night on some days while, on others, only the sound of air moving could be heard the taps in his house were turned on.

He provided Hotline with his address, as well as the days when he was recently without treated water. This information was forwarded to the Department.

The spokesman said the agency’s staff went to Taman Limauan, shortly after learning about this problem.

They checked on the condition of the Department’s installations, including the pump and balancing tanks, servicing the neighbourhood, according to him.

“The pump and control panel for the device were found to be in good order,” he said. 

“The level of the water in the Phase 1 tank was found to be 4.5 feet while it was 9 feet for the one for Phase 2. Both were acceptable readings.”

He said these personnel also had a look at the distribution mains leading to the complainant’s water-metre.

“There were no air-locks inside but they did find that the strength of the supply was weak.

“We will try adjusting one of our valves to see if we can boost the water pressure.”

ZAIN of Kinarut bemoaned the erratic supply in the neighbourhood.

He spoke out about his lack of sleep as he sometimes had to stay awake till the wee hours just to get some water.

“By 8am, the taps have already run dry. This makes it difficult for us to accomplish any chores at home,” he said.

“It is especially trying for those with babies as they have a lot of washing and feeding to do.”

Zain said he had encountered this problem “for months”.

“The residents have repeatedly reported this problem to the Department but, so far, the situation has yet to improve.”

Meanwhile, a tanker from the Department was sent to Taman Tebobon to deliver treated water to consumers in this part of Manggatal, who have been without a drop of water for the past three weeks. 

The spokesman said the supply woes in the neighbourhood stemmed from a damaged pump at the agency’s Telibong 1 Treatment Plant

He explained that the engine for device burnt out during a power surge at the facility on November 11.

“The newly-repaired pump was reinstalled in the wee hours of November 27. It will take a few days to make up for the drop in the production,” he said.

“We will periodically check on the distribution mains leading to Taman Tebobon to ensure that tap water is restored to those staying here.”

He said output from Telibong 1 had been severely impacted because of the technical problem.

The pressure of the supply in the pipes, along this housing road in the neighbourhood, was found to be weak.

Under normal circumstances, a total of 74 million litres of treated water is generated daily at the facility.

With only three pumps operational since November 12, the Plant’s production fell by 13 per cent, according to him.

He said Telibong 1 had six water pumps, 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.” 

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.

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