Syabas told to have long term solution to avert burst seabed pipes

DAWN CHAN

SHAH ALAM: A non-governmental organisation has suggested that Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) embark on a study to look into long term solutions to avert future incidence of burst seabed pipes, like what happened in Terusan Bagan on Tuesday.

The incident in Terusan Bagan caused water supply disruption to 1,200 accounts at Pulau Ketam, Bagan Teochew and Sungai Lima.

Association of Water and Energy Research Malaysia (AWER) president S. Piarapakaran said a long term solution should be looked into by Syabas, considering that a similar incident had also occurred at Pulau Ketam and Sungai Lima in 2014 which reportedly left 6,000 consumers without fresh water.

“That is a short period and it has recurred. Syabas needs to look at the material of the pipe, its design, infrastructure as well as what caused the burst.

“Perhaps there could have been an issue with the material of the pipe or maybe there could have been an unexpected demand of water supply that had led to the burst. The causes need to be identified and whether it was due to the same problem or a totally different reason.

“Syabas should consider changing the materials and design of the seabed pipes if it is found to be unsuitable. Something needs to be done,” he told the NSTP today.

Piarapakaran said changing broken seabed pipes every few years would not be beneficial for Syabas in the long run.

“It is not cost effective and it is not cheap labour to have people facilitating seabed piping repairs. I do not think Syabas have their own people within their facility to carry out the works. I believe it is outsourced,” he said.

He said should Syabas decide to carry out studies on the cause of the Terusan Bagan burst seabed pipe incident and come out with a long term solution, it should be shared with their counterpart, the National Water Services Commission.

Piarapakaran said if this was done, water services companies in other states supplying the resource to islands and fishing villages can take early steps to prevent burst seabed pipe incidence.

Yesterday, Syabas customer relations and communications department head Abdul Raof Ahmad said they were working around the clock on the seabed to replace the broken pipe.

The damaged length of pipe would be replaced with a new 400mm-thick high density polyethylene pipe 100 metres long.

Raof said the team carrying out the work comprised eight divers and Syabas staff members.

As of yesterday, the progress of removing the faulty pipe from the seabed was at 50 per cent.

He said their target was to complete the removal of the broken pipe, connect the new one and other related works by or before Thursday.

The water supply to the three areas will be reactivated once the reconnection of the pipe was completed.

Raof said they were doing their best to expedite the works as dealing with broken pipes under the sea required time and it also depended on the weather.

Syabas has taken pro-active steps to supply residents in Pulau Ketam, Bagan Teochew and Sungai Lima with 3,000 five-litre bottles of water daily. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd