End to sewage woes
Writer: Brenda Ch'ng
Published: Fri, 12 Apr 2013
KLANG: Outraged residents of Bandar Botanic Bidara, who have been living with the back flow of raw sewage water from their toilets since last October, may soon breathe easier following an undertaking by Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd to resolve the problem.
“We will have a short, mid and long term plan to tackle this issue. We will send six tankers to clear the sewage tank daily and this will continue until the issue is resolved,” said IWK communications manager Shahrul Nizam Sulaiman.
He said this during a meeting between residents, the developer Gamuda Bhd, National Services Water Commission (SPAN) and former Klang member of Parliament Charles Santiago last Sunday.
Santiago (centre) and residents looking at the overflowing septic tank behind the houses along Jalan Bidara 5
Shahrul Nizam explained that the tankers will also be on call and residents can use them any time they want.
Residents believe that the back flow of sewage into homes is due to a faulty septic tank made worse by the pump system which no longer works.
Shahrul Nizam said a study has been done by IWK and they found two possibilities for the back flow – a faulty system and infiltration of rubbish.
“We are still trying to determine the main cause of it so we will appoint a third party to conduct an independent technical study.
“We might get SPAN to appoint someone so that the results will be more credible compared to if we do it ourselves,” he said.
Once the study is completed and the cause determined, IWK will then implement their mid and long term plans based on the results.
Residents were relieved to finally get some help and they hope IWK will ensure the tankers follow the set schedule so that they do not have to clean sewage waste from their bathrooms any more.
“Everyday my bathroom is filled with sewage water in the evening and I will have to clean up the stink every night before I go to bed,” said 62-year-old Yeoh Guan Kheam, during a press conference recently.
Having lived here since 2005, Yeoh said the septic tank only used to overflow during heavy downpours when he first moved in, but the problem has become worse over the years.
“Since October last year until now my toilet will be flooded everyday. This happens during peak hours in the evening when everyone is back from work and uses the washroom,” he said.
He pointed out that every septic tank caters to six houses in the neighbourhood and the clogged tank cannot accommodate that much sewage any more.
Fellow-resident Anthony Kao said he had previously lodged complaints with both Gamuda and IWK but to no avail.
However, he is thankful they are finally responding now.
“Gamuda will always wash their hands and say it’s not their responsibility any more because they’ve handed it over to IWK.
“When I approach IWK, they do send people here with the pump but after two days, the same thing happens again,” he said.
Kao said one of the IWK workers even manually stuck his hands into the sewage tank to activate the pump switch which was broken.
The 50-year-old resident, who was among the first to move into the neighbourhood in 2004, said the septic tank is now constantly stuck and the waste is overflowing into the nearby retention pond.
“It’s not actually a retention pond anymore, it is a permanent pond,” he said.
Apart from stinking up over 350 houses here in Bandar Botanic Bidara, residents also had to incur extra expenses to buy new items like washing machines.
“The sewage damaged my washing machine and even when I bought a new one, it malfunctioned due to the water,” said resident Chandran PSR.
Residents claimed that others in Bandar Botanic are facing the same problem and have called on Santiago for help.
“This is unacceptable as it’s a health hazard and a psychological torture on residents as well, having to worry and clean sewage waste from their homes everyday,” he said.
Santiago hopes IWK will keep their promise and commit to sending the tankers daily and solving the problem as soon as possible.
“I hope they don’t just say and not do... This is a serious issue and their promises should not be empty ones,” he said.
Present at the meeting was MPK councillor Yew Boon Lye.