A sudden drop in water level at the Sungai Muda (Lahar Tiang) intake, which affected the inflow to the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant (LRA), near here would cause water supply disruption in several areas of Penang from today until Wednesday (May 17).

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer, K. Pathmanathan said the unexpected situation has affected the water supply for thousands of consumers in Seberang Perai Utara (SPU), Seberang Perai Tengah (SPT), Seberang Perai Selatan (SPS) and the southern areas of Penang.

“Around 5 am today, an incident likely to have occurred upstream of Sungai Muda, Kedah has caused the raw water level at the Lahar Tiang PBAPP to drop below 1.0 metre (m) and the normal level is above 2.0m. As a result, PBAPP cannot abstract raw water from Sungai Muda.

“The river is the main source of raw water in Penang and more than 80 per cent of the raw water taken by PBAPP every day for treated water comes from Sungai Muda and then the source of raw water from Sungai Muda is channelled to the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant (LRA),” he said in a statement today.

He said the Sungai Dua LRA is the largest and most important LRA in Penang and treated water is supplied to all of Seberang Perai and also to the southern areas of Penang, thus because of the incident, the Sungai Dua LRA was unable to produce its normal volume of about 1,000 million litres per day (JLH) of treated water.

Pathmanathan said PBAPP was channelling water from the Mengkuang dam to support water production in the Sungai Dua LRA but its production is limited to 300 JLH, which is not enough to cover the shortage from Sungai Muda.

He said that currently the production of treated water in Sungai Dua LRA is limited to 600 JLH to 650 JLH that is until PBAPP can resume the operation of 100 per cent raw water abstraction from Lahar Tiang.

“PBAPP is not sure when this ‘recovery’ will happen and we cannot say with certainty when water supply services in Penang will be fully stabilised for all users because we do not know exactly when the water level in Sungai Muda will recover to 2.0m or higher,” he said.

He said the PBAPP engineering team was working around the clock to optimize the raw water abstraction operation at the Lahar Tiang intake and the water production operation at the Sungai Dua LRA.

“We will treat as much water as possible to supply as many users as possible in Penang and users who still have water supply will need to store water for use in the next few days,” he said.

Earlier the media reported that about 252,000 consumers in three districts namely Kuala Muda, Kulim and part of the Baling area in Kedah were affected by unscheduled water supply disruption due to a sudden drop in the water level caused by the damage to the water control gate (barrage) of Sungai Muda.

Syarikat Air Darul Aman Sdn Bhd (SADA) in a statement today informed that the water supply disruption in the three districts started at 7.25 am today and the unforeseen incident resulted in the operation of the Sungai Petani/Pinang Tunggal LRA and the Kulim Hi-Tech LRA having to stop work temporarily until the river level stabilises.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency