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Department resolving Kinarut, Manggatal water woes
Published on: Friday, November 10, 2023
By: Sidney Skinner
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Department resolving Kinarut, Manggatal water woes
The Department’s tanker was sent to replenish some of the tanks for the factory at the Sedco Industrial Estate in Kinarut.
THE Water Department is working to resolve the supply woes at a Kinarut commercial property and another in Manggatal, following feedback about the difficulties which two consumers have encountered in conducting their respective businesses over the past few weeks.

A factory operator at the Sedco Industrial Estate – off km 18 Jalan Pengalat Lokawi – said he had gone without a drop of water for days at a time on numerous occasions since the middle of October.

A shop owner at Universiti Plaza – off Jalan Sulaman – on the other hand, said the pressure of the supply was so weak that barely enough water was entering the storage tank on the roof of the block where his unit was located.

Both proprietors have been forced to suspend their operations over and over again because of these water problems. 

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

The strainer was clogged with mud and other foreign objects.

A Department spokesman said its staff in Kinarut were still trying to identify what triggered the difficulties at the factory.

“We are arranging to ‘push’ the supply to the Industrial Estate to see if the situation improves,” he said.

One of the agency’s tankers went to the factory on Tuesday, according to him.

“About 10,000 litres of treated water was sent to the premises to enable the operator to partially fill his tanks.

“We wanted to offer him some relief from the problems he had been experiencing.” 

He said, if need be, the Department would have the Industrial Estate included in the rationing exercise which was being implemented around the town.

“In the meantime, our personnel have been asked to keep tabs on the water situation in this part of Kinarut.”

Another group of technicians were doing likewise at University Plaza, according to another spokesman.

He said its staff went to the commercial centre, shortly after being contacted by the media, where they found something amiss with “the strainer” for the distribution mains leading to the property’s bulk-meter.

He explained that this equipment prevented impurities – such as bits of soil or plastic – from clogging up the Department’s pipes, thereby, hindering treated water from reaching the meter. 

“The strainer was clogged with mud and other bits of plastic,” he said.

“Our personnel set about cleaning the strainer and flushed the water mains. 

“They later double-checked whether the supply was reaching the bulk-meter. The strength of water, at the time, was deemed to be acceptable.”

He said the same was also true of the water pressure at the individual meters for the shops there.

“The valve at one section of the main distribution pipes along the main road here has been repeatedly tampered with off late.

“The irresponsible parties disturb our water-balancing and pressure-management settings for the area by doing this. 

“Their meddling has contributed to the water problems at Universiti Plaza, not to mention at the other commercial and residential properties nearby.” 

The distribution mains were later flushed.

The spokesman said the Department had been facing an uphill task trying to catch the culprits, as well as deal with the incidents 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 wrong-doers 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, 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.

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