Padas River pollution disrupts water supply to over 70,000 people in Labuan

LABUAN: More than 70,000 people in 25 villages here have been affected by water supply disruptions since last Sunday (July 24) due to pollution of their main source of water, Padas River in Beaufort, Sabah.

Almost 20,000 consumer accounts have been affected after the Lawa Gadong water treatment plant (LRA) was shut down following the detection of water pollution at the intake point of Padas River, the raw water source for the LRA.

In a statement on Sunday, the utility provider, Labuan Water Supply Division (BBAL) said the LRA Lawa Gadong operator, MK Services, had detected oil stains at the Padas River water intake, adding that it had to be temporarily shut down for cleaning works.

The level of the main water tanks on this island including at the Rancha-Rancha Industrial Zone has declined drastically except in areas such as Sg Pagar/Sg Miri and Universiti Malaysia Sabah Labuan International Campus (UMSKAL).

According to BBAL’s second statement yesterday, the LRA Lawa Gadong operator had conducted the analysis in accordance with the drinking water standard of raw water at the Padas River intake, with oil stains no longer detected.

Following this, the LRA Lawa Gadong has resumed water supply to Labuan’s Pulau Enoe main distribution water tank, with the level increasing.

BBAL said the water supply recovery in the affected areas would take 48 to 120 hours (two to five days) due to the refilling of tanks, and also taking into account the water pipe bursts and leaks in several areas of the island. – Bernama