IWK operates in compliance to standards to preserve source of water in the country

By TMR

IN THE course of urbanisation and rapid development, the government adopts sustainable practices to address environmental and social challenges. This requires vital infrastructures to support the developmental growth. Wastewater treatment is a crucial aspect of the development as water lifecycle can be renewed post-wastewater treatment.

Since the 7th Malaysia Plan, Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) Sdn Bhd, together with the Federal Government undertook massive sewerage improvement to preserve the environment and public health.

Today, Malaysia enjoy one of the best sewerage services in the region.

As a company that is wholly- owned by the Minist ry of Finance Incorporated, IWK operates and maintains 8,147 sewage treatment plants (STPs) and network pumping stations in its operations area nationwide. In respect of its manpower excellence, IWK is managed by specialised professionals with vast experience in various fields of expertise ranging from planning and engineering, operations of all public sewerage assets, and day to day management of the entire services. IWK is governed by a professional board appointed by the government which includes independent and non-independent directors. IWK is subjected to stringent business and financial scrutiny and frequently subjected to third party professional audits including Jabatan Audit Negara.

Likewise, IWK’s operation needs to comply with standards set by the regulators and authorities. In 2019, IWK’s level of compliance to Department of Environment (DOE) standards stood at 96% nationwide. Whenever IWK receives enquiries or complaints from the public, it is able to resolve more than 97% of the operational enquiries within the level of service.

This is in view of the area of operation serviced by IWK whereby 70% of the people nationwide enjoy connected sewerage services.

Of the large assets of sewage treatment plants and network pumping stations, more than 28% are in the State of Selangor, consisting of 1,804 STPs and 506 network pumping stations with level of compliance at 97%. The State of Selangor records far better sewerage connectivity of 90%, compared to 83% about 10 years ago. This is mainly attributed to IWK’s role in providing efficient planning advice for sewerage system and services where more than RM3 billion were invested for new, upgrades and improvements of public sewerage system in Selangor by the Federal Government over the last Malaysia Plan (RMK), namely RMK9 and RMK10 (2006-2015), as well as the ongoing 11th Malaysia Plan (2016 – 2020).

Selangor has some of the state-of the- art and modern sewerage system in the country that not only meets stringent effluent quality standards, but are also neighbourhood friendly with its architecture that assimilates with the local environment and ambience. The sewerage infrastructure development undertaken is required to ensure that the people in Selangor, and nationwide have access to high standards of public sanitation.

IWK is a proud receiver of many recognition and accolades for its efficient and effective services for Malaysian public, whereby the Malaysian Water Associat ion awarded IWK with the best STP awards consecutively in the last three years, including one of IWK’s STP in Setia Alam, Selangor in 2019.

IWK has developed and implemented various initiatives in relation to asset management in accordance to international standards such as BSIPAS55:2008 which is based on British Standard and the international standard ISO 55000 Asset Management System. For its continuous effort in raising the level of asset management, IWK has successfully obtained the ISO 55001:2014 Asset Management System (AMS) certification, the first water related company in Malaysia to obtain this certification.

As an establishment that focuses on managing physical infrastructure assets, IWK always emphasises in implementing good asset management practices throughout the company.

The stringent adherence to the standards can easily be undone by irresponsible actions of culprits who dispose of wastes illegally into the public sewers. Whenever this happens, the wastes flow into the waterways without any treatment since the STP is designed to only treat human wastes.

All of our sewage treatment assets operates 24 hours, 365 days a year.

Large sewage treatment plants are manned and smaller plants are operated in automated mode with frequent visitation by IWK’s operations team.

There are close to 400,000 manholes nationwide and it is not possible to have sensors or visitation to these manholes which are located in public areas. However, we have taken some serious mitigation plans by plugging off critical manholes and carry out periodic desludging at these manholes.

IWK has also taken steps to premix over manhole covers at selected areas but this is not an intelligent solution and is costing the company huge sum of money. This criminal act should be punished and the perpetrators must brought to justice for polluting raw water supply that is crucial to basic human needs.

While the authorities and regulators amplify their effort to curb this issue, IWK truly appreciates the public who have recently come forward to share photographs and videos of illegal dumping carried out by private desludging contractors into public sewerage manholes. These are noble acts by the public to safe guard our environment and to ensure our water resources are protected.

This continuous effort by the public is highly appreciated, and they can continue to provide information to us via [email protected]