Malaysia: A million in Klang Valley to go without water - maybe for days

Sira Habibu and K. Ruban The Star 31 Aug 13;

PETALING JAYA: Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) has activated its emergency response plan to Code Red following the closure of four treatment plants caused by diesel spillage 10km away from the intake area.

Over one million consumers in seven districts will be affected by water disruption due to the closure of the Sungai Selangor Phase 1, 2 and 3 and Rantau Panjang treatment plants to facilitate clean-up works.

The current treated water reserve at the four plants can only last for a day.

The four plants produce 2.67 billion litres of water daily, catering to 57% of water demand in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

Districts affected are Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Klang/Shah Alam, Gombak, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Langat and Kuala Selangor.

Syabas is appealing to consumers to prudently use water from the existing storage, as the duration of disruption could not be ascertained as yet.

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs department deputy general manager Priscilla Alfred said the Code Red was activated at 4pm yesterday and staff were put on standby.

Code Red is activated when a situation is most severe and affects more than a million consumers.

“LUAS (Lembaga Urus Air Selangor) has initiated a cleaning up exercise,” she said.

It is also seeking help from the Government to help transport water supply to affected consumers, as its facilities are not designed to cater to such a massive water disruption.

Syabas could only provide 42 mobile water tankers and 525 static tankers to assist those affected.

The operators of the affected plants discovered the diesel spillage from a factory nearby at 8am yesterday, and immediately stopped operations.

Selangor state secretary Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi, who heads the state water monitoring committee, hoped that the clean-up operations could be completed within 12 hours.

He said the factory located up­st­ream from Sungai Selangor Phase 2, near Rawang, had been ordered to cease operations immediately.

He said the two to three days to get the plants functioning was necessary as they needed to be cleaned as well.

“If works to clean up the river cannot be done by tonight, the situation is only going to get worse,” he said yesterday.

Prolonged closure of the treatment plants would result in low water pressure in the seven affected districts.

With high demand and treated water reserve capacity at around 1%, Syabas warned that recovery period would take a long time – even after the four water treatment plants resumed operations.

Syabas said it would keep consumers updated on the situation periodically.

Water cut: All four water treatment plants back in operation, supply back in 40% of affected areas but low pressure, says Syabas
Joseph Loh The Star 31 Aug 13;

PETALING JAYA: All four treatment plants which had to be shut down on Friday due to oil contamination in Sungai Selangor have resumed operations, and water distribution has begun at affected areas.

In a statement, Syabas said operations resumed at its plants at about 3am Saturday, and water distribution started at 6am.

"As at 10am, some affected areas have been receiving limited supply but at low water pressures.

"The number of affected accounts are down to 880,000, which comprise 60% of the households in Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Klang/Shah Alam, Gombak, Kuala Selangor and Hulu Selangor," it said, adding that supply in the Kuala Langat district was back to normal.

"Syabas expects its supply of water to affected areas to reach 80% capacity in three days, and normal supply within one week," it said.

The statement also said it was mobilising all its resources to provide water to users, with 46 water trucks sent and 20 static tanks placed in affected areas, with another 506 static tanks on standby.

It also said Syabas was receiving aid from other states in the form of 14 water trucks - six from Johor, six from Perak and four from Negri Sembilan.

The statement also said Syabas would not be able ensure adequate supply for all users.

"However, water relief efforts will be concentrated on critical needs such as in hospitals, dialysis centres and mosques.
"Users are advised to be patient and use water sparingly for essential needs only," it said.

Treatment plants back in operation
The Star 1 Sep 13;

PETALING JAYA: All four water treatment plants shut down because of oil contamination of Sungai Selangor have resumed operations but more than three million people in the Klang Valley will continue to suffer supply disruptions for up to seven days.

Water concessionaire Syabas said the Sungai Selangor Phase 1, 2 and 3 and Rantau Panjang treatment plants resumed operating at 3am yesterday, but normal supply in all affected areas would take a week to be fully restored.

Syabas corporate communication and public affairs department deputy general manager Priscilla Alfred told The Star: “The water supply is back to normal in Kuala Langat and is slowly being restored in parts of Hulu Selangor, Gombak, Klang, Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur as of 5pm today (yesterday).

“We expect to see good progress in the next three days but full recovery will be gradual and will take seven days from now.”

The plants which draw water from Sungai Selangor were shut down on Friday morning after diesel from a factory in upstream Rawang spilled into the river’s tributary.

They produce 2.67 billion litres of water daily, catering to 57% of the demand in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

Alfred said that about 880,000 domestic accounts – each of which represent four to five people – are affected by the disruptions.

The consumers hit by the disruptions comprise 60% of the total population of Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam as well as the districts of Hulu Selangor, Kuala Selangor, Gombak, Klang, and Petaling.

Syabas activated its top emergency response plan Code Red following the oil spill.

Code Red is activated when disruptions affect more than one million consumers.

A Code Yellow is for disruptions affecting only one district while Code Green is activated when the consumers affected number about 50,000 or less.

Syabas in an earlier statement yesterday said it had despatched 46 water tankers and 20 static tanks to the affected areas with 505 additional static tanks on standby.

Water concessionaires in Johor, Negri Sembilan and Perak have sent 14 water tankers for use by Syabas, but the company said these were still not enough to meet demand.

“Efforts to provide relief water supplies will need to focus on premises such as hospitals and dialysis centres, so we urge other affected consumers to be patient,” Syabas said.

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