GEORGE TOWN, Nov 21 — The state government, through the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP), has implemented several long-term and short-term plans to address the turbidity at the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant (LRA), near here.
State Infrastructure and Transport Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the problem occurs every time there is heavy rain or flooding in the Kedah border area, causing the supply of clean water throughout Penang to be severely affected.
“Among the efforts being implemented is a raw water distribution project from the Mak Sulong Pump to the Sungai Dua Canal (phase 2B) under the Federal Government’s allocation of RM72.4 million. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this year
“The Mengkuang Dam only functions as a strategic dam for needs during the dry season or drought and any emergencies that may occur involving Sungai Muda (Kedah),” he said at the Penang State Legislative Assembly sitting here today.
He was replying to a question from Phee Syn Tze (DAP-Sungai Puyu) who wanted to know about the state government’s plans to overcome the problem of water turbidity in the Sungai Dua LRA, which causes the supply of clean water statewide to be severely affected every time there is heavy rain or flooding in the Kedah border area.
Zairil (DAP-Tanjung Bunga) said the Mengkuang Dam’s release capacity of 300 million litres per day (MLD) to the Sungai Dua LRA could be increased to 600 MLD once phase 2B is completed.
He said the Sungai Dua LRA needs about 1,100 MLD of raw water daily to produce 1,000 MLD of treated water and the Mengkuang Dam still needs another 400 MLD to release a maximum of 1,000 MLD of water so that the Sungai Dua LRA can operate optimally.
“To enable the maximum release of 1,000 MLD through the Mengkuang Dam, the state government has applied to the Federal Government to continue the implementation of the phase 2C project.
“It is to complete the Mengkuang Dam expansion package so that water supply in Penang will be secured,” he said.
In reply to a question from Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Air Putih) regarding the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) categorising the Mengkuang Dam as a high-risk dam, Zairil said the dam does not face any age or silt issues and its structure is still strong enough to accommodate 86.4 billion litres of water.
He said the Mengkuang Dam expansion project was handed over to the state government in September last year and the dam has also been running and operating well under the PBAPP.
“The state government has also applied to the Federal Government to implement the new Sungai Muda barrage project to increase the abstraction level of raw water from Sungai Muda during the rainy season to fill the Mengkuang Dam,” he said. — Bernama