‘Search efforts intensified to pinpoint leakage behind Balai Ringin’s severe water shortage’

The condition of raw water intake for Balai Ringin Water Treatment Plant.

*Updated with more details, photo at 2.30pm

KUCHING: The Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) says that the persistent water shortage problem in Balai Ringin is due to leakages.

The department until now, has yet to pinpoint the source although as of 1.20pm today, they have identified a possible area where the leakage may be located and are concentrating their efforts there.

The department has been fully aware of the Balai Ringin water shortage problem and has since the beginning of September, been trying to locate the leakage.

The water woes have persisted due to the failure in locating the leakage despite JBALB personnel working hard day and night.

JBALB director Chang Kuet Shian said initially the task of searching for the leak was carried out by JBALB personnel in Serian, but two weeks ago, it was taken over by those from headquarters.

He said the search for the leakage has to be conducted in an orderly manner and to be undertaken section by section.

“The main pipe is about 20 to 25 km long. We have been checking from section to section, trying to look for the leak and unfortunately, until now, we have yet to locate it.

“Tonight, we will be checking the last four to six-km section. If we manage to locate the leak in this last section, then the problem will be solved within a few days. If we can’t, we will have to start all over again,” Chang told the DayakDaily last night.

DayakDaily did not immediately publish Chang’s interview, in the hope that there might be some good news this morning. As of 1.20pm today, Chang told the DayakDaily the department have identified a potential spot where the leakage might be and they are focusing their efforts in that area.

Chang said in all sincerity that the department has been taking the Balai Ringin water woes seriously. Despite not making any public explanation prior, he said JBALB personnel has been working hard to solve the problem on the ground.

“If anyone were to notice anything not right or see anything strange within the area, please inform us. From our experience, usually when there is a leakage, people in the area will notice something not right but not this time,” Chang said.

Chang made these remarks in response to the water woes in Balai Ringin which started about two months ago.

The department will also concentrate on three points, which are to improve the overall distribution system which is aged and document the improvement for future ease of maintenance; continue to carry out active leak detection; and increase the production capacity of the existing water treatment plant where possible.

Residents in Balai Ringin told DayakDaily yesterday that this was the first time the area has experienced water shortage problems. DayakDaily also reported earlier that SMK Balai Ringin was advised not to close down temporarily.

Although it is the first time, the water shortage has been severe, bringing local residents much inconvenience and suffering.