‘Water from Bengoh Dam, Batu Kitang plant safe for consumption’

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KUCHING, Dec 8: Both the raw water from Bengoh Dam reservoir and the treated water coming from Batu Kitang Water Treatment Plant are safe for consumption.

According to a press statement from the Ministry of Utilities, Kuching Water Board (KWB) has been monitoring the quality of the raw water from the Bengoh Dam very closely since February 2016.

“The raw water samples from the dam reservoir are sent regularly on a monthly basis to the Department of Chemistry for compliance tests.

“The tests include those for microbiology, heavy metals including lead, and biocides which encompass pesticides, insecticides and weedicides,” said the Utilities Ministry.

The ministry further pointed out that for the raw water, the samples are taken from the bottom, middle and top levels of the dam.

“The average values for lead content in the raw water in 2017 at these three levels are 0.001, 0.00l and 0.001 mg/l respectively.

“These values are well below the maximum acceptable level of 0.05 mg/l as stipulated in the Recommended Raw Water Quality Criteria of the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality issued by the Ministry of Health Malaysia,” said the ministry.

The ministry also pointed out that KWB is also monitoring the treated water quality very closely, including the lead content, at its Batu Kitang Water Treatment Plant.

“The average value for lead in the treated water in 2017 is less than 0.001 mg/l which is also well below the maximum acceptable value of 0.01 mg/l as stipulated in the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality issued by the Ministry of Health Malaysia,” said the ministry.

It stressed that based on the compliance test results, both the raw water and treated water comply with the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality.

“Therefore, the treated water from Batu Kitang water treatment plant is safe for consumption,” assured the ministry.

The ministry had released the press statement in response to the recent concerns brought up by PKR Mas Gading branch chairman Boniface Willy Tumek who questioned the safety of drinking the water from Bengoh reservoir recently.

He said two of the four submerged villages, Kampung Rejoi and Kampung Taba Sait, were using solar electricity for power in their houses and schools.

There are about 300 units of solar batteries for each kampung, used to store solar energy channeled from solar panels installed in the respective village.

It was alleged that about 600 solar batteries were not removed from the two villages and are now submerged in water and Boniface said the battery might be leaking lead into the water in the dam.

He urged the Minister for Public Utilities Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom and Minister of Urban Development and Natural Resources Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to disclose what had happened to those solar batteries used in the two villages as the members of the public, especially consumers under Kuching Water Board have the right to know what was the level of lead and other hazardous materials in the dam water. — DayakDaily