Water woes: Expert says go upstream

zaki

KUALA LUMPUR: Advanced water treatment technology can be a long-term solution in dealing with contamination of raw water, according to engineer Zaki Zainuddin, a water quality expert.

He said the technology adopted by Singapore had been effective in treating raw water, as compared with the conventional treatment methods used in Malaysia.

He said the advanced technology would provide better quality water supply to consumers, thus avoiding recurrence of water supply disruption following the closure of water treatment plants.

“The current method being used is not outdated, even developed countries like the United States are still using the same technology but the control aspect of river basin areas there is better than in Malaysia, thus reducing the risk of contamination and disposal of industrial waste into water resources.

“However, the cost of using the most advanced water treatment technology is quite high and certainly has its own implications such as the increase in water tariff to cover the expenses incurred for that purpose,” he said when contacted by Bernama, recently.

Zaki was asked to comment on the fourth closure of the Sungai Semenyih treatment plant in Selangor within two months following the odour pollution of the river water, believed to have originated from an industrial area in Nilai, Negeri Sembilan.

The first two shutdowns occurred on Sept 22 and Sept 23 while the third was on Oct 4, causing disruptions in water supply in the Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat, Petaling and Sepang districts.

Zaki said a more economical approach would be to use water from the upper reaches of the river, which would be more clean and free of contamination and reduce the risk of raw water contamination supplied to treatment plants.

“However, some parties reject the proposal by claiming that the upstream river areas are quite far to access and to supply water to treatment plants,” he said.

He said most treatment plants had been using water resources from the lower reaches of the river, whose surrounding areas had been rapidly developed, thus affecting the quality of the river water there.