KUCHING, July 9: The raw water transfer system under the Tanjung Manis Water Supply (TMWS) Phase 1 Project was designed to cater for 125 million litres per day (MLD) using a 1,600 mm diameter pipeline.
The Ministry of Utilities, Sibu Water Board (SWB) and Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) in a joint statement said that out of the 125 MLD, 95 MLD was designated for raw water usage while the balance of 30 MLD will be processed at the water treatment plant located at Tanjung Manis to produce treated water for consumption.
The statement was in response to recent complaints by residents of the area affected by the project.
The ministry and its agencies disclosed that the TMWS project commenced on November 11, 2013 and was divided into eight packages, as follows: River Bank Filtration (RBF) raw water intake at Sg Maaw, Sibu; the supply of pipes and fittings through Public Works Department Central Store (JKR); raw water pipeline from Sibu to Tg Manis; raw water booster pumping station in Sibu; submarine pipelines crossing across seven major rivers; water treatment plant in Tg Manis; raw water reservoir and booster pumping station in Tg Manis; and treated water booster pumping station and its associated distribution mains at Tg Manis.
The statement also revealed that SWB was appointed as the implementing agency for the project.
“All the packages had been physically completed around August 2016, except the package for RBF raw water intake.
“The TMWS project had yet to undergo overall testing and commissioning due to the issue of non-completion of the RBF raw water intake and also the issue of raw water quality due to high ammonia content. Consequently, the operation of the TMWS Phase 1 was also delayed.”
The ministry and its agencies said that the contractor for the RBF raw water intake had failed to complete the project according to contract specifications and the employment of contractor was later terminated by SWB around end of year 2017.
On contractual disputes, an amicable settlement had been reached between SWB and the contractor on May 2019.
It was also revealed that the affected work was re-tendered so as to complete the outstanding work at the RBF raw water intake to make use of the available yield to carry out the overall testing, commissioning and operation of TMWS to meet the immediate water demand at Tanjung Manis.
The re-tendered works for the RBF raw water intake had already started in the middle of June 2019.
“The pumping of raw water at the RBF intake is currently in progress. At the same time, the quality of the raw water is being monitored.
“Once the raw water quality issue is resolved, the raw water would then be supplied to the rest of the packages for the overall testing and commissioning of TMWS. It is targeted for the TMWS to be operational around early of year 2020.”
The construction of a new raw water intake using direct river water intake system is currently at the design stage and is targeted to be completed around the end of year 2020.
Meanwhile, JBALB Sarikei is currently supplying about 8.4 MLD of treated water to Tanjung Manis to meet the water demand there.
“The water is supplied through a 17km pipeline laid along a pipe-track from the Sg Baji Booster Station, with submarine crossings at Rejang River and Loba Semareng River, all the way to Sekumang Booster Station in Tanjung Manis.
“As this existing pipeline is aging and susceptible to pipe burst, it is proposed to lay a new pipeline from Sg Baji to Sekumang including the submarine pipelines and associated works. The contract for this new pipeline had just been awarded in May 2019 through open tender and is presently under construction stage,” the statement said.
This new pipeline upon completion within two years will further improve the water supply system to Tanjung Manis, Jerijeh, Belawai, Sekumang and Rajang. — DayakDaily