No urgent need to use Putrajaya Lake during water cuts

by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THERE is no urgent need for the Selangor government to source its water from the Putrajaya Lake during emergency, said State Infrastructure and Public Facilities, Agricultural Modernisation and Agro-based Industry Committee chairman Ir Izham Hashim.

Izham said despite recurring water disruptions, water treatment plants (WTPs) in Selangor can handle any shortage of water supply to the state, Putrajaya and Kuala Lumpur (KL).

“Based on our studies, the Semenyih WTP can operate to its maximum level if we source raw water from Pond C near the treatment plant when pollution occurs in Sungai Semenyih.

“However, if we can get water resources from Putrajaya Lake, it would be a bonus. As of now, we are still waiting for this approval,” he said at the Selangor State Assembly yesterday.

Izham was responding to Michelle Ng (Pakatan Harapan-Subang Jaya) who wanted to know whether the Putrajaya Lake could be a source of emergency water when there is pollution in the Sungai Semenyih intake.

Izham said the proposed use of water from the lake in the event of an emergency is outside the jurisdiction of the Selangor Water Management Authority.

“However, Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd, which manages the treated water supply for Selangor, Putrajaya and KL has made an application to the ministry to use water from the lake.

“The application includes a grant for the implementation of sewerage and pumping projects from the Putrajaya Lake to the Semenyih WTP,” Izham said.

He said based on the latest calculation, Putrajaya Lake can source water supply to Semenyih WTP for up to 17 days during an emergency.

However, Izham said Air Selangor has yet to receive feedback on the application.

Last month, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari said the state administration is looking for a long-term solution with the Environment and Water Ministry to mitigate water cuts in Selangor.

Unscheduled water disruption has been recurring in the past months mainly due to pollution at the upstream level of Sungai Selangor, causing operations at the WTP to cease.

To improve resilience on pollution issues, Air Selangor had earlier developed and upgraded several ponds near the river and WTP as alternative resources.

They will also be used during the dry season when there is not enough water intake at the plants. Izham said the state is looking to build and upgrade more ponds as part of the government’s medium-term solution to curb unscheduled water disruption due to pollution.

In his Budget 2021 speech last week, Amirudin announced that the state government has allocated RM200 million solely to solve water pollution issues.

Among others, Amirudin said the government will implement raw water pumping project from Hybrid Off River Augmentation System reservoir in Sungai Selangor and Sungai Semenyih to ensure that Phases 1, 2, and 3 of the WTP, Rantau Panjang WTP and Semenyih WTP will not stop operations when water pollution occurs.

He said these four projects will commence this year and are expected to complete within 18 months.