‘Treated water carries a bill, gravity feed ones are free’

The scenic Kampung Danu faces the 'dilemma' of having 'too much water'.

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Oct 16: Kampung Danu folks are lucky to have a good gravity-feed system that is linked to a clean water source. At the same time, the village is situated in an area where the government is expanding its treated water system.

A Rural Water Supply Department (JBALB) officer said Kampung Danu’s case is considered ‘good news’ to the department, especially when many settlements across the state do not have this basic amenity.

“It is understandable that when the water source is pristine, unpolluted and protected, which we call ‘safe water’, as reported, such a case may happen. The villagers will prefer the gravity feed because they do not have to pay for the water they are using, and the water is clean and safe for consumption.

“When they are given treated water, they have to pay a monthly minimum charge of RM4.40 or RM6.60, depending on their areas. Then there is the connection fee of a few hundred ringgit,” the officer, who declined to be identified, told DayakDaily.

The difference between treated water and gravity feed water is that the former is chlorinated, while the latter is not. But in some cases, some form of filtration can be installed to remove or eliminate bacteria and harmful elements.

“But as we all have the habit of boiling the water before consumption, so if the gravity feed water is pristine, where there is no human development upstream, then there is no problem,” he opined.

He disclosed that JBALB was now focusing on bringing water to all rural villages in the state by 2025.

“This will be done within the next few years. Laying of pipes in the rural areas is not an easy job, considering the vast area of the state and its topography. For example, in the hilly areas, there is always the potential of airlock issues, where air gets into the water delivery system, resulting in water being unable to pass through,” he said.

Then there is the issue of old pipes that were laid many years ago.

“The size and the materials of the pipe to be used is already something of a major challenge. It will have to be of the right size because when it is too small, no water will flow through it. And when it is too big, water will accumulate in the pipe, causing stagnation of water, resulting in re-contamination.” — DayakDaily