GEORGE TOWN, Jan 7 — Several residents in the Teluk Kumbar area, near here, welcome the public to come and get water from their wells if they are affected by the four-day scheduled water supply disruption in Penang starting January 10.
A resident, Suria Nawawi, 58, said that the well at her house, which is over 40 years old, has never run dry and often becomes a source of water for the residents during water supply disruptions in the area.
“To say that we are worried about the water shortage (from January 10 to 14) is not that significant because we have a well here. This is not only for our family’s use but also for the villagers who come to take water if there is a water supply disruption.
“But for drinking water, I store it because the well water is more suitable for bathing and not very suitable for cooking and drinking. During the water supply disruption on December 18 last year (because of the pipe leakage in Sungai Perai), many came to get water from this well.
“Until 3 to 4 in the morning, some still come to take water from the well, and we allow them to take it. Moreover, the well water is always available, and the more it is taken, the more it accumulates. So, during water supply disruption, anyone who wants to get water can come here,” she told Bernama.
Previously, the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) announced that approximately 590,000 users, including non-domestic ones, will experience scheduled water disruption for 96 hours from 6am on January 10 to 6am on January 14 to enable the replacement of two valves at the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant and other related work at 22 locations throughout Penang.
However, PBAPP expects at least 101 areas in the Seberang Perai Utara (SPU) and Seberang Perai Tengah (SPT) districts to receive water supply after 48 hours, while a total of 157 areas involving the districts of SPT, Seberang Perai Selatan (SPS), Timur Laut and Barat Daya on the island will begin to receive water supply after 72 hours.
Halipah Said, 70, who also has a well on her property, welcomes the public to come directly to her house to get water if they face water supply problems.
She said no charges are imposed on the public who come to get water from the well at her house and that she is happy that the well, which is 40 years old and owned by her late father, can contribute water to the residents.
“Even before this, there were people who came to fetch water from the well and this time (water supply disruption) mak cik (aunty) expects that many people may come to fetch water and we welcome them to come fetch it… this is water for everyone’s use and Allah has given it to us to share.
“The water from this well is clear and odourless, but usually, we use it for bathing and washing clothes. In the past, before there were water pipes, it could be used for drinking and cooking… but the source of this well, which is spring water, is always there,” she said.
Meanwhile, a grocery store owner in Seberang Jaya, Norafizah Mustafa, 41, hopes that the valve replacement work will be carried out according to the schedule and completed as soon as possible. She is grateful that PBAPP has informed about the repair work earlier.
“For works like this, PBAPP informs early so we can prepare to store water for use at home and in the shop,” she said.
PBAPP will use 99 tankers to deliver water to affected users due to scheduled water disruption.
PBAPP Chief Executive Officer K. Pathmanathan was reported as saying that this is the largest water tanker fleet used in the history of Penang’s water supply, including rented 27 jumbo tanks capable of holding up to 40,000 litres of treated water.
In addition to the tanker fleet, PBAPP is also installing a total of 97 static water tanks to store water for affected users. These water tanks include rented flexi elephant tanks with a maximum capacity of 24,000 litres per tank. — Bernama