Tempers are flaring online as the public took to social media to voice frustration over the unscheduled water cuts in part of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur which began on Thursday.
Many expected supply would resume in the morning, but were disappointed to see the taps were still dry.
Facebook user Mohd Saleh Johari asked why water disruptions kept happening.
“The same issue happens almost two to three times a year. Why can’t there be a permanent solution?” he said.
Muhammad Khairul Akmal urged action from Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) on polluters.
“Selangor is a developed state but the same thing happens every year. Please think of a way to resolve this problem,” he said.
Joining the chorus of complaints was Priyah Narayansamy, who asked why there was no backup plan in the event of pollution.
As at 6.30am today, the operations of four water treatment plants in Selangor, supplying water to seven areas in the Klang Valley, were still suspended.
According to Air Selangor, this was because pollution is still being detected near the plants with a pollution reading of 1 threshold odour number (TON).
“The treatment plants can only operate when the pollution reaches 0 TON,” the company’s corporate communication head, Elina Baseri said.
She said mobile water tankers will continue to be dispatched to affected areas, and consumers are urged to collect water from public taps and local service areas which are operating 24 hours a day until water supply is fully restored.
“Air Selangor will provide updates on this unscheduled water disruption from time to time,” she said.
In a statement earlier, Air Selangor said 1,292 areas in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang/Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat were affected by the unscheduled water cuts yesterday.
Air Selangor said investigations were underway with several agencies, including Luas (Lembaga Urusan Air Selangor), to determine the nature and source of the pollution.
“Odour sampling is being conducted near suspected industrial premises near Sungai Gong, which is believed to have released the odour that smells like a solvent,” it said in a statement.
Sungai Gong is a tributary of Sungai Sembah, which is the main tributary of Sungai Selangor located about 17km from the Rantau Panjang Water Treatment Plant.
Air Selangor said Luas had begun pumping 400 million litres of water from the Bestari Jaya pond and 500 million litres from the Sungai Tinggi Dam while opening the Bestari Jaya river gate to help overcome the odour.
Otai Reformis 1998 in a statement said the Selayang Municipal Council today had slapped a temporary cease operation notice against a factory in Rawang which is believed to have caused the pollution which affected the water supply.
It said a preliminary probe, joined by Luas, showed that the factory failed to store oil waste according to regulations.
“Oil spills incidents involving factories located near the river are nothing new.
“We have frequently heard of the problem and we questioned Luas which should have monitored the water supply in Selangor.
“If the state government could clear squatters in Sungai Buloh and Subang to make way to expand the river, I don’t see why Luas cannot use its power to chase away factories along the river,” said Otai Reformis secretary Abdul Razak Ismail.
Razak also suggested for salaries of certain individuals to be deducted by RM10 every time there was a water disruption in the future as “a fine” for their failure to solve the water problem.
Malaysian Water Forum president Saral James Maniam said hefty fines and jail sentence should be imposed on the polluters and information such as the company’s name and its chief executive officer should be published in local newspapers.
She pointed out that odour pollution at raw water sources had been happening often, with previous occurrences in December 2019, in March and April this year and now again in September.
“We strongly believe that the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) should conduct studies on activities along the rivers to identify the causes of such incidents and elect Young Water Warriors to work with the authorities to be in charge of parts of the rivers
Checks on the Air Selangor app revealed that the estimated completion time has yet to be confirmed.
Water supply can also be obtained from public taps in Petaling at Taman Wawasan, USJ2, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council store at Jalan TP2 at Taman Perindustrian in Subang UEP and Jalan Indah 2/2 in Puchong Indah.
In Gombak, they are located at Lembah Jaya Selatan and AU3 Keramat.
In Klang, there is one in Persiaran Setia Murni Setia Alam and in Kuala Selangor, it is located at the Tanjung Karang Bus Station.
Information on the unscheduled water supply disruption will be given from time to time through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Air Selangor mobile application and website www.airselangor.com.