More than 400,000 consumers on Penang island, Seberang Prai experience dry taps, low water pressure

GEORGE TOWN: About 465,004 water consumers throughout the state have started experiencing dry taps or low water pressure since this morning.

Muddy flood waters from Baling, Kedah had affected water supply services in the state.

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan said PBAPP has been working to address the raw water issue related to Sungai Muda since midnight this morning.

He said muddy or highly turbid flood waters from the recent floods in Baling has compelled PBAPP to reduce treated water production at the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant (WTP).

“The Sungai Dua WTP is the largest and most important WTP in Penang. Its treated water is supplied to about 465,004 water consumers in Seberang Prai and Penang island.

“When we detected highly turbid water at the Lahar Tiang intake, PBAPP was compelled to reduce raw water abstraction from Sungai Muda.

“This action has caused treated water production at the Sungai Dua WTP to drop by 30 per cent, from an average of 1,019 MLD to 715 MLD at 9am.

“As such, treated water supply to 70 per cent of consumers have been affected,” he said today.

Among the affected areas are George Town, south Bukit Dumbar to Balik Pulau (Pulau Betong, Bukit Penara, Pondok Upeh and Bandar Balik Pulau); Seberang Prai Tengah (areas south of the Bukit Minyak Pump House) and Seberang Prai Selatan.

Pathmanathan said PBAPP’s emergency response plan (ERP) has been activated since 4pm yesterday and the ERP Team was working hard to restore water supply services, in stages, from 8pm today when the production at Sungai Dua WTP is expected to fully recover.

“This is an unscheduled water supply interruption that is caused by external factors, originating in Kedah (the recent floods in Baling).

“PBAPP reduced treated water production at the Sungai Dua WTP earlier today with public safety in mind.

“PBAPP cannot, and will not, supply ‘unsafe treated water’ in Penang,” he added.

Nevertheless, Pathmanathan said, PBAPP apologised for all inconveniences caused.

“We are doing our best to restore water supply,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said the latest episode was a repeat of what happened before due to flooding in Baling, which resulted in high level of turbidity.

“It has been announced that the Sungai Dua WTP is only operating at 30 per cent capacity, and this is expected to affect water supply in various areas in the state,” he said. (https://www.nst.com.my/news/nation/2023/09/960862/penang-taps-start-expe…)

Chow said, since yesterday, water from the Mengkuang Dam had been released but the quantity of water released was 300 million litres per day (MLD).

“The amount is insufficient to meet the demands while the WTP receives 1,000 MLD daily from Sungai Muda,” he added.

As such, Chow advised water consumers to store water for their daily usage until the turbidity of water in Sungai Muda returns to normal.

Asked on the unpreparedness of some users to face the unexpected shortage, he said since yesterday PBAPP had issued statements on the situation in Sungai Muda.

Source: New Straits Times


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