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Saturday, December 30, 2023

Chow orders special inspection of all underground main pipelines for leaks


Chow Kon Yeow wants the leak in the Sungai Perai underground pipeline to be monitored until a new RM5 million main pipeline is built across the river next year.

PETALING JAYA: Penang chief minister Chow Kon Yeow has ordered the state water authority to carry out special inspections of all underground main pipelines to detect any leaks.

Chow said a team of experts should regularly inspect all main pipelines that are 90cm or more in diameter and find ways to detect potential defects or failures, Bernama reported.

Apart from that, he said, the state government wanted work on old main pipelines, which are 90cm or more in diameter, to be expedited.

Chow said he had received a preliminary report from Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) on the burst pipeline incident at Sungai Perai, Butterworth, that disrupted water supply to 200,000 consumers in Barat Daya on the island, and Seberang Perai on Dec 18.

He said he had ordered five immediate measures to be implemented.

Among these was that PBAPP monitor the Sungai Perai underwater pipeline, which was still undergoing daily repairs, until a permanent pipeline above the river could be built.

“The permanent solution is to install a pipeline across the river, which will be supported by a structure above. This will cost RM5 million.

“Work on this should be completed as soon as possible in 2024 to allow for periodic inspections and avoid recurrences of water cuts,” he said in a statement today.

Chow said PBAPP could not ascertain the cause of the leak because the main pipeline, measuring 135cm in diameter, was buried 3.5m below at the bottom of Sungai Perai.

He said the pipeline had to be repaired immediately as the leak had caused a sudden drop in water pump pressure.

On the disruption of water supply to Penang residents from Jan 4 to 10, Chow said PBAPP must ensure that the restoration of water supply to the 590,000 consumers goes according to the announced schedule.

“Water supply for the remaining 0.2% of affected users, which is about 1,000 users residing at the end of the distribution line and on higher ground, must also be restored as soon as possible, within 96 hours,” he said.

“The people and the state government expect PBAPP to do more and perform better from January.”

The water supply disruption is to allow PBAPP to carry out repair work at the Sungai Dua water treatment plant.

The work involves replacing two valves measuring 120cm in diameter that have been leaking inside the main treated water pipe within the plant and near its fencing. They had not been replaced for 50 years.

Valve replacement and other repair works will also be carried out at 22 locations throughout Penang during the period. - FMT

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