Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Laku to turn to alternative sources if water levels critical
MIRI: Laku Management Sdn Bhd will turn to its alternative sources of raw water from 16 bore hole wells and Sungai Baram, if water levels at the Sungai Liku and Sungai Bakong intake points fall below critical level.
Laku Miri area manager Lo Su Onn told The Borneo Post yesterday that the wells, situated at Lambir and Sungai Dalam, were built in 1990 and are capable of producing 30 million litres of raw water per day.
He said the government also plans to extract raw water along the 17 km channel and pump it to Sungai Liku as a long-term solution.
Lo explained that Sungai Liku was unable to cope with the increasing demand for water from Miri and its surrounding areas during this prolonged dry spell.
Hence, he said, raw water from Sungai Bakong is currently being transferred and pumped to Sungai Liku via a 6.5 km pumping main and 2.2 km tunnel inside Lambir Hill at the national park.
However, he stressed that the water levels had not dropped to a critical point as Laku still managed to pump 85 million litres per day from Sungai Bakong and 40 million litres per day from Sungai Liku.
He said at present Laku takes in 124 million litres of raw water per day for treatment and from that 114 million litres of treated water is produced daily to serve 250,000 consumers in Miri.
Also we have four observation wells along the Bakam coastal road in case we need to operate the pump continuously during the drought period, said Lo.
Meanwhile, he called on consumers to cooperate fully with Laku by conserving water to ensure continuous water supply.
We should not be complacent and be wasteful and refrain from unnecessarily watering plants, car washing and (filling) swimming pools, said Lo.
He also reminded the public not to practise tuba fishing as this would contaminate the Liku and Bakong water sources and threaten the quality of raw water.
The use of pesticides or tuba for such purpose is illegal and I urge the public to report such illegal practices to the relevant authorities, he said.
Commenting further on Laku water, Lo said the quality of its treated water complies with the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality under the Health Ministry as well as World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.
He assured the public that Laku regularly samples both raw and treated water daily at the Lambir Water Treatment Plant laboratory.
In addition, he said, Laku also sends samples to the Chemistry Department in Bintulu for analysis to ensure it meets requirements and is safe for human consumption.
He added that water supply to Batu Niah came under the Public Works Department and not Laku.