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Burst main pipe along Jln UMS to blame: Water Department
Published on: Friday, January 05, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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Burst main pipe along Jln UMS to blame: Water Department
The distribution main near this bridge in the Sepanggar area was found to be leaking on New Year’s Eve.
A BURST distribution main along Jalan UMS was partly to blame for supply woes which consumers in parts of Manggatal, including University Apartments1 (UA1), University Apartments2 and University Plaza, have been experiencing over the past few days.

A Water Department spokesman said a 300-millimetre pipe was found to be leaking on New Year’s Eve night. “From the way the Mid-Steel-Cement-Lined (MSCL) water main was damaged, it looked as if someone had accidentally dug into the pipe,” he said.

“However, the third-party contractor, working in this part of the road, has denied any knowledge of this.”

He said the agency’s technicians began attending to the pipe just before 11pm on Sunday.

Their efforts were complicated because the damaged main was buried more than 10 metres beside the bridge near the Fire and Rescue Services Department (FRSD) Housing Complex in Sepanggar, according to him.

A clump of what looked like part of a sack was removed from the strainer servicing the bulk-meter for UA1.

“Our staff worked through the night to reach and seal the leak.”

He said the supply from its Telibong II Treatment Plant to this area had to be temporarily disrupted to prevent further wastage.

The agency issued a notice at 10.30pm, which was circulated over social media, to alert consumers – particularly those at the FRSD quarters, Sulaman Sentral commercial centre and surrounding areas – about the loss of their tap water.

The spokesman apologised, on behalf of the Department, for the inconvenience caused to the public.

“The repairs were only completed in the wee hours of New Year’s Day, with tap water restored to the affected consumers in stages once sufficient pressure had built up in the supply-line.”

The spokesman called on third-party contractors conducting major infrastructure and development projects in the area to give the Department advance notice of their activities.

“This will go a long way to minimising any disruptions which may be caused by such work in future.”

He said the falling water levels at the Department’s R13 reservoir in this part of the Northern Region had also contributed to these water problems.

“This has given rise to the low pressure of the supply at some premises, while not even get a drop of water was available at others.

“We are in the midst of discussions on how best to improve the supply to these consumers.”

SANDY and PHUA, two shop operators at University Plaza, bemoaned the lack of water at their premises.

At the time that they contacted Hotline, Phua had been without a supply since December 30, while Sandy had experienced a similar inconvenience for three days.

The former had been forced to close his shop due to the disruption.

Both business-owners admitted that their employees had contacted the Department several times about their predicament but the situation had yet to improve.

“Many of our customers have been grumbling about the loss of tap-water in our shops,” they said. “It is especially embarrassing when we tell them that they cannot use the toilets in our units.”

Their grievances were forwarded to the Department, with an inspection made of the Plaza, shortly after it learned about these goings-on.

The agency’s staff confirmed that water was reaching the individual meters for the shops, according to the spokesman.

“The strength of the supply, at the time, was observed to be acceptable,” he said.

He said a similar check was made of the bulk-meter for UA1.

The Department’s staff worked into the wee hours to complete the repairs.

“Our technicians noted that the strainer along the distribution pipe before the device was blocked with foreign objects. “They removed these blockages, including a clump of fibrous material which looked like part of a sack, before checking on the pressure of the supply which was found to be strong.”

He explained that the strainer prevented impurities from clogging up the water main, hindering treated water from reaching the meter. The spokesman said the agency’s staff had some parts of the supply-line around the apartments flushed.

“In light of what happened to the strainer, we have called on our personnel to be more mindful about the condition of this fixture and to have it cleaned whenever this is warranted.”

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