Department monitoring city water supply
Published on: Wednesday, September 21, 2022
By: Sidney Skinner
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Department monitoring city water supply
Left: PMD officers have a closer look at the joint for a water pipe at one of the Anjung Senja stalls. Right: The pressure of the water reaching the bulk meter for the Central Market was found to be acceptable.
WATER Department staff are keeping an eye on premises between the roundabouts near Wisma Sedco and Wisma Merdeka in the City, after a drop in water pressure left the Anjung Senja Food Court and Central Market with an irregular supply recently.

A spokesman for the agency said this was partly due to a scheduled shutdown which took place at the time.

“Once operations at the Moyog Treatment Plant resumed, it took a few days for the pressure in our transmission mains to return to normal,” he said.

He said the high demand for water during the school holiday period – a week before the shutdown – also had an impact on the strength of the supply which reached consumers in the State Capital.

Some consumers found their tap water reduced to a trickle, while others received not a drop at all over these two weeks, according to him. 

Besides Anjung Senja and the Market, he said the Department received reports about water woes at Marina Court Condominiums, the Segama area and Suria Shopping Mall.

A Water Department staff checks on the supply for the public toilets near the SAFMA building inside the compound for the Market.

“Some ‘pressure-management’ has been implemented to try and stabilise the supply along this part of Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens.

“On top of this, we have been monitoring the situation to minimise the tap water problems in the City.”

The spokesman was responding to feedback about the difficulties which food operators at Anjung Senja and the Central Market had experienced in running their kitchens properly, including keeping their utensils and cutlery clean. 

They also lamented the inability which they and their customers encountered in using the public toilets at their respective locations as the water problems had seen these amenities closed for days at a time.

The hawkers, who liaised with Hotline, specified the dates of these supply woes. This information was forwarded to the Department and City Hall.

Technicians from the former agency went to both locations shortly after being contacted by the media, according to the spokesman.

“They checked on the condition of the distribution pipes connected to the water-meters and freed any airlocks inside,” he said.

At the time of these inspections, he said, supply was found to be reaching these devices, with the pressure “good”. 

In the case of the Central Market, the Department’s personnel also confirmed that there was nothing amiss with the supply for the public toilets near the Sabah Fish Marketing Sdn Bhd (SAFMA) headquarters, according to him.

A check revealed that the City Centre was equipped with 12 public toilets: Eight of this number were under the purview of City Hall’s Environmental Health Department (EHD), with two each maintained separately by its Property Management Department (PMD) and DBKK Holdings Sdn Bhd.

DBKK Holdings is the wholly owned investment and commercial arm of the agency.

A spokesman for the PMD, which looks after the Anjung Senja Food Court, said it had received reports about water woes there twice this month: on September 5 and September 12.

PMD staff alerted the Water Department to these goings-on in both instances, according to him.

“Requests were made to have water delivered to the Food Court, on these occasions, and a Water Department tanker came to do this a day later,” he said.

“One of our senior officers personally thanked the driver, who made the second trip, for assisting to alleviate the problems at the stalls and public toilets here.”

The spokesman said this officer also went around to some of the stalls to check on the pressure of the tap water.

A spokeswoman for the EHD, meanwhile, said the public toilets for the Central Market were closed, on and off, for four consecutive days in the first week of September because of the irregular supply reaching the building. 

The EHD is responsible for maintaining these amenities, as well as those near the SAFMA building.

“The pressure of the supply was so bad, at this time, that barely enough water was reaching the Central Market toilets,” she said.

“Our Toilet Management Division had additional tanks set up to try and store whatever was trickling in. 

“The toilets were temporarily closed when these reserves ran out and opened again when enough tap water could be gathered.”

She said the Division’s staff had even considered harvesting rainwater to get by.

The supply woes at the Market were aggravated further last week, when the water-pump for these toilets broke down, according to her.

“The contractor, engaged to look after the fixtures and related equipment for the toilets, set about repairing the device after this came to light.

“We have asked him to step-up efforts to check on the pump and pipes connected to the toilets in future to ensure that this problem does not recur.”

The spokeswoman said the Division’s personnel made daily inspections of all the public toilets under the EHD’s purview.

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