GEORGE TOWN, Dec 9 — The repair works during a scheduled water supply disruption from January 10 to 14 next year will only take 24 hours to complete, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow today.
The Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chairman said some consumers may get water supply on the next day after the completion of the repair works.
“The water treatment plant operations will resume on the second day and water supply will resume so depending on areas, some consumers will receive water on the second day itself,” he told reporters after an event here.
He said during the 24-hour shutdown to enable the replacement of a major valve at the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant, all water will have been channelled away and the whole system will be empty.
He explained that once operations resumed, it would take time for the water to build up at the Bukit Dumbar reservoir to have enough pressure to reach consumers.
“This is not like electricity, once it resumed, you get it immediately, with water, you need it to build up to have enough pressure,” he said.
He said some areas will get water on the second day, some on the third day and some, on the fourth day.
As for factories claiming this could lead to huge losses, Chow said factories are required by law to have 48 hours of water storage.
“All factories should have 48-hour storage, this is a requirement,” he said.
“They should plan ahead now to be more resilient and with this one-month notice, they can plan their production schedule to cut down the impact to a minimum,” he said.
Chow said the maintenance and repair works are expected to be completed in 24 hours, even as early as 16 hours.
“We know people will react to this scheduled disruption, but it is necessary to do it,” he said.
He said he could easily make a popular move to cancel the maintenance works and wait till the parts breakdown and cause a sudden disruption, but it would be irresponsible.
“I have to do this unpopular move to ensure that we change the parts and do the repairs needed so that there will not be sudden disruptions due to breakdowns,” he said.
Chow also said the scheduled maintenance works and water supply disruption was approved by the PBAPP board, the state exco and also the National Water Services Commission (SPAN).
PBAPP recently announced the scheduled water supply disruption that will affect 590,000 consumers.
Chow said at least 85 per cent of the people in Penang will be affected except for those in Air Itam and Tanjung Bungah areas.
The areas affected by the water supply disruption included a majority of Seberang Perai. In contrast, on the island, the areas affected are Pulau Tikus, George Town, Jelutong, Gelugor, Bukit Jambul, Relau, Bayan Lepas, Bayan Baru, Batu Maung, Teluk Kumbar and Balik Pulau.
Air Itam, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang were not affected as these areas get water supply from the Air Itam Dam and Teluk Bahang Dam.
A full list of the affected areas is available on PBAPP’s website and social media pages.