KL and Selangor were affected by several water disruptions that took place throughout 2020 and Malaysians were evidently frustrated
From January to December, check out the full list of water disruptions that took place in 2020:
1. On 11 January, temporary water disruptions in 19 areas take place after a power outage in a water treatment plant occurs
2. On 7 February, seven areas in the Gombak district suffer water cuts due to water tank and pipe issues
3. On 18 March, due to low water pressure, there are unscheduled water cuts that affect 11 areas in the Petaling district
4. On 17 April, seven regions across Selangor and Kuala Lumpur suffer unscheduled water cuts due to water pollution
5. On 3 May, Puchong has an unscheduled water cut caused by a burst pipe
6. On 28 May, eight areas in Hulu Selangor face water cuts after water pollution is discovered in a water treatment plant
7. On 24 June, a third party causes a water pipe to burst, resulting in unscheduled water cuts in several areas in the Petaling district
8. On 6 July, notice is given in advance to inform of a water cut for repair and maintenance purposes
9. On 20 July, a major pipe burst causes water disruptions to two areas in Klang and eight areas in Kuala Langat
10. On 6 August, 50 areas in the Petaling district face water disruptions after the main water pipe bursts
11. On 11 August, the Gombak district faces temporary water cuts due to maintenance works
12. On 3 September, a water treatment plant is shut down due to water pollution, causing major water disruptions across seven districts
13. On 16 September, a pipe incident causes temporary water cuts to a few areas in Sepang and Kuala Langat
14. On 30 September, a pipe incident causes temporary water cuts in 29 areas in Petaling
15. On 4 October, a water treatment plant is shut down due to water pollution, causing water cuts for 274 different areas
16. On 14 October, authorities carry out necessary maintenance and repair works, resulting in temporary water cuts in Kuala Langat and Sepang
17. On 17 October, a pipe burst causes water cuts that affected over 600 areas in six districts
18. On 10 November, a water pollution incident surfaces, resulting in unscheduled water disruptions that affect over one million households
19. On 8 December, raw water is found to be polluted, which leads to water cuts across 861 areas in seven districts
20. On 11 December, water cut notices are given in advance for maintenance purposes
21. On 16 December, Sabak Bernam faces temporary water cuts due to maintenance and repair works
22. On 21 December, several areas in Klang face water cuts after a pipe incident
23. On 29 December, a pipe incident causes water cuts in a few areas in Shah Alam
24. Lastly, on the same day, 29 December, a landslide causes a pipe incident, which leads to water cuts in 43 areas in the Petaling district
As a result of these water disruptions, many frustrated Malaysians blame sewerage facilities like Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) for their inadequacy to maintain the treatment plants and failure to give proper notice
However, sewerage facilities are not to blame. Indah Water has been the scapegoat for many water cuts and water pollution incidents throughout the years.
In fact, on 5 November, Indah Water was once again, allegedly accused of polluting the Air Selangor's Water Treatment Plant, where unknown substances in the form of white foam and red water were first discovered at the intake of Indah Water's Sewage Treatment Plant (STP).
Upon investigation, it was revealed that a group of irresponsible parties had dumped illegal waste into a sewerage system in Rawang, ultimately causing river pollution
From the sewerage system, the polluted river had flowed to STP, where it was discovered by a staff on duty on 4 November.
Following this, Indah Water immediately stopped the discharge and operation of the treatment plant to avoid the polluted water from flowing to other watercourses.
Each time a sewerage treatment plant gets polluted by third parties, Indah Water bears the responsibility to treat the facilities immediately to prevent further damage to the treatment plant and environment
Indah Water's Chief Executive Officer, Narendran Maniam, shared that when STP was affected by the unknown illegal substance, the team had to first contain the polluted water flow to avoid any spillage into the waterways.
"If this was not executed promptly, the illegal element that came into our plant would have had created further detriment to the environment," said Narendran, adding that instead of making baseless accusations, effort should be focused on apprehending the perpetrator.
Other than containing the water flow, Indah Water also has to carry out numerous treatments such as using enzymes to neutralise the water process, using a defoamer to remove contaminants, and monitor the water storage tank for 24 hours. Additionally, if any pollution incidents take place, the management has to inform all relevant authorities.
Indah Water is a sewerage treatment company that looks into maintaining and developing a clean, sanitised sewerage system
They operate over 7,000 treatment plants and 19,775km networks of effluent pipelines throughout the country.
In fact, preventing factories from being developed nearby rivers or stopping individuals from dumping illegal waste into rivers are not part of Indah Water's jurisdiction. Narendran has expressed his disappointment over the false accusations, as it was the irresponsible parties that caused the river pollution.
To add on, Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (LUAS) revealed that the STP incident could have been sabotage, as it took place a day after the state passed stiff penalties to polluters, which include a mandatory jail sentence of up to one year, and a heavy fine.
Indah Water shared that they remain committed to tackling the issue of illegal waste dumping together with the authorities
Indah Water has since lodged a police report to investigate the STP pollution incident.
Additionally, on 10 November, a separate incident involving green illegal wastewater was discovered in the Indah Water Taman Velox treatment plant. Police have since arrested the culprits behind the illegal wastewater dumping.
Got some cool brand news to share?