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Salty water supply issue is now under control, says state minister

Publish date: Thu, 30 Nov 2023, 09:15 AM

KOTA KINABALU: With tests showing lower chloride content in the water in Sandakan this year, the salty water issue in the east coast district highlighted over a year ago is now under control, says Sabah Works Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya.

The Sabah Health Department, in its water quality monitoring report, found the decreasing trend in Sandakan from January to November, he said.

“There is a consistent drop in the chloride content and it has reached the allowed level set by the Health Ministry,” he said at the state legislative assembly sitting on Tuesday evening.

He added that the Water Department had also been getting samples of the water for testing since December last year.

Shahelmey said the issue was caused by saltwater having entered from Segaliud River to Betotan Dam.

“Weekly checks are being conducted now by appointed agencies and contractors under the Water Department together with federal Health Ministry officials,” he said.

For a long-term solution, he said, the Water Department would apply to the Finance Ministry to appoint engineering consultants to provide a detailed study and design to upgrade the Segaliud treatment plant.

This includes the construction of new intake points starting next year.

“These will also include searching for new water source locations that can cater to the needs of consumers up to the year 2050,” he added.

Earlier, Shahelmey said his ministry, through the Water Department, would continue to improve the state’s water supply system via several initiatives, among which are short-term measures in nine districts – Kota Kinabalu, Tuaran, Papar, Lahad Datu, Keningau, Beaufort, Tawau and Sandakan.

“We will also be installing bulk meter systems or water vendors in areas that are known for water theft and illegal connections,” he said.

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