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Department checks on water supply to Inanam, Likas
Published on: Friday, October 06, 2023
By: Sidney Skinner
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Department checks on water supply to Inanam, Likas
A laundrette at this row of shophouses in the Bakti Ikhlas area was forced to close for nearly a week due to the weak water pressure.
THE Water Department is monitoring the supply to the Bakti Ikhlas area of Inanam and one part of Likas, following feedback about the intermittent tap water at these locations.

A proprietor at the former area bemoaned the weak pressure of the incoming supply to his shop. He had to shut his laundrette for close to a week recently as insufficient water was entering the storage tanks for the premises.

A Kg Likas homeowner, on the other hand, was without a supply – on and off – over the same period.

Both consumers provided Hotline with the pertinent details, including their address, which were forwarded to the agency.

A Department spokesman said a problem with the settings of a valve was to blame for these water woes. 

“The valve had been opened more than it should,” he said.

A technician with the agency checks on the water pressure at the meter outside this house in Kg Likas.

“As a result, the volume of water in our mains was not enough to push the optimum supply to those living and working towards the end of our distribution line.

He said the agency’s tankers were deployed to deliver treated water twice weekly around Bakti Ikhlas at one point because of this.

The necessary adjustments were subsequently made to boost the strength of the supply to the affected consumers, according to him.

“We re-calibrated the water-balancing and pressure-management settings for the valve. Our staff were asked not to change these settings and to be on the lookout for any irresponsible parties who might meddle with the valve.”

The Department has been facing an uphill task trying to curb the incidence of water theft in the area where the valve was situated.

“We have been carrying out disconnection exercises here regularly,” the spokesman said.

“Our personnel remove the illegal connections made to our distribution mains only to find new ones attached to the pipes a few days later.”

He said the agency’s personnel would try to step up their surveillance in the hopes of nabbing the culprits red-handed.

“Anyone who makes ‘an unlawful connection of a service pipe to a public mains or to another service pipe serving another premises’ can be deemed to have contravened the Water Supply Enactment 2003.” 

The spokesman said it was also an offence for anyone, without prior approval from the Department, to:
  • tamper with any waterworks.
  • draw off, divert or take water from the waterworks.
  • interfere with, open or shut any valve, hydrant or stopcock belonging to the waterworks.

“Offenders risk having to settle a fine for as much RM100,000, or serve a jail term of up to one year or both.” 

In cases where the wrongdoing was committed by a corporate body, he said the management could be held liable for a fine of up to RM500,000.

The spokesman said its technicians went to Kg Likas shortly after the valve had been adjusted.

“They checked on the condition of the pipes leading to the complainant’s home and cleared any airlocks which had formed inside.

“They found that water was reaching his meter and that the strength of the supply was acceptable at the time.”

Meanwhile, the management company (MC) for a Penampang shopping centre is arranging to repair the pipes servicing the sprinkler system for the building as they have been leaking for some time.

A canvas covering has been placed around the damaged pipes at the shopping centre where water has been pooling for the past few months.

A spokesman for the firm said the contractor had been appointed for the task and was in the midst of sourcing for the necessary material. 

“The individual has put up a canvas over the damaged pipe in preparation of the repairs,” he said. “The work is due to get underway soon.”

The Department had earlier called on the MC to take better care of the internal reticulation for the property, particularly any leakages around the building.

The agency’s action was prompted by a report about water trickling down onto the pavement at one section of the shopping centre.

The patron, who brought this to Hotline’s attention, said the wastage had been going on “for months”.

He felt that this was especially disheartening given the periodic water disruptions around the district. The Department spokesman said its staff went to the property on the same day that the agency was contacted by the media.

“They noted that the water pressure in the pipes leading to the bulk meter for the shopping centre was strong,” he said. “The supply was also observed to be reaching the balancing tank as it was full.”

Upon further examination, the Department’s personnel found that that the pipes behind a section of the building were “leaking badly”, according to him.

“Water was escaping through many of the connections for the ‘HDPE (high density polyethylene)’ pipes connected to the shopping centre’s sprinkler system.

“This must have been happening for quite a long time as one of these structures was corroded.”

He said a make-shift metal plate had been placed against the rusty section.

“This was meant to channel the spillage into an empty paint bucket.

“From the look of the piping for the sprinkler system, they theorised that poor workmanship was likely to have contributed to these leaks.”

The spokesman clarified that the damaged pipes did not belong to the Department.

“They are piping system inside the compound of the shopping centre and as such are maintained by the MC.

The spokesman said the firm was informed of these findings and asked to address this wastage as soon as possible.

“The company’s staff were advised to be more mindful about the condition of the internal reticulation for the shopping centre in future.

“This will allow the firm to proactively prevent similar leaks from recurring.”

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