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Leachate puddles and clogged housing drains
Published on: Wednesday, January 10, 2024
By: Sidney Skinner
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Leachate puddles and clogged housing drains
The concessionaire’s personnel unclogging the roadside drain in Taman Southern.
The gradients for a road in the central business district of Kota Kinabalu and housing drain in a Luyang neighbourhood may be rebuilt, given the settlement which has taken place in these respective areas over the years.

City Hall is deciding whether to carry out this improvement to minimise the likelihood of leachate pooling in front of a bin-centre on Lorong Bank at the first location, as well as the likelihood of run-off stagnating inside a drain on Lorong Unta 11 at the latter.

In the meantime, the agency will step up efforts to have the bin-centre cleaned and has urged the government concessionaire to do likewise when it comes to the drain.

“Leachate” is the liquid which drains from, or ‘leaches’ through, the piles of bagged waste.

Landscaping workers put their back into cleaning the drain behind the bin-centre on Lorong Bank.

 A spokesman for its Solid Waste Management Department said there were about 119 bin-centres around the city, with the garbage at all these premises cleared on a daily basis.

“Three quarters of these bin-centres, including the one on Lorong Bank, belong to City Hall,” he said.

“We have a contractor who has been given the responsibility of hosing down our assets once a day, after the bins have been emptied.

“He and his workers pay special attention to getting rid of any traces of leachate from these sites.”

On feedback from an office worker about the nuisance created by the puddles of leachate on Lorong Bank, the spokesman said the agency would monitor the performance of its street-cleaning team to ensure that road-users did not continue to be inconvenienced by the foul smelling liquid.

Additionally, he urged eatery operators in this part of the State Capital to drain any fluids from their kitchen waste.

He said proprietors should use thick plastic bags to bag their scraps. 

“They should also ensure that these bags are placed inside the bins at the centre and not piled up outside the receptacles.

“This will facilitate the efforts of our workers to remove this garbage swiftly, without creating a mess.”

The spokesman said City Hall was trying to determine if there was a problem with the drain and leachate-outlet for the bin-centre on Lorong Bank.

“We are also looking into the possibility of having the gradient for the road rebuilt to prevent the run-off from pooling on the road. 

“This gradient problem is likely to have been triggered by the incidence of settlement in this part of Kota Kinabalu.”

He said the agency would have to deliberate over how best to address these irregularities.

A spokesman for the agency’s Landscaping Department said a team from its Drain Maintenance Unit went to Lorong Bank, not long after it learned about what had been transpiring at the bin-centre.

“Ten of our workers spent a good two hours that afternoon de-sludging the drain which services the bin-centre,” he said.

“Such maintenance is carried out at each of our bin-centres in Kota Kinabalu regularly.”

He said an inspection was made of Lorong Unta 11 in Taman Southern a short time later.

“We were made to understand that the drain in front of a house here was clogged with rubbish and water vegetation. 

“The run off inside took a long time to recede because of this.”

He said Landscaping personnel confirmed these drain woes and apprised the government concessionaire of their findings.

“Our staff returned four days later to find that all the obstructions inside had been removed. 

“The company’s personnel subsequently informed us that the water in the drain was not flowing properly because of a gradient-problem.”

 He said the neighbourhood, including the housing drains, was built decades ago and a lot of settlement was sure to have taken place over the intervening years.

“We have made the relevant Department aware of these observations.”

The spokesman explained that the firm was responsible for maintaining the drains along the housing roads in the State Capital, while City Hall attended to those behind residences under its jurisdiction.

The former structures were cleaned according to a fixed schedule, with the same being done to the latter once every six months, according to him.

“City Hall workers will try to come in even before the scheduled cleaning, to deal with any complaints involving the back-yard drains.”

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