GEORGE TOWN: About 200,000 consumers will experience unscheduled water disruption in the Southwest district of the Penang Island and several areas of Seberang Prai due to an unexpected underwater pipeline leakage in Sungai Perai, Butterworth near here.

Penang chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said following the unexpected mishap, the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) has directed a team of divers to check the extend of damage or leakage while the repair work would be carried out immediately.

“We received information of a sudden leakage in a major underwater pipeline in Sungai Perai. However, we are not sure if the leakage involves the same place which had been repaired and the leakage patched before this. But this time around the leakage looks very serious compared with what happened in December.

“PBAPP has deployed divers to look at the damage and if can be repaired, we will carry out works immediately. The new leakage has resulted in water disruption in the Southwest district and also in Bukit Dumbar.

“We have currently mobilised water tankers to areas affected by the disruption while waiting for repair works to be carried out in the affected pipeline. Once the leakage is identified, repair works will start immediately,” he told reporters, here today.

Meanwhile, PBAPP in a statement said the corporation had identified a major leakage along the 1,350mm pipeline that has been laid on the riverbed of Sungai Prai, this afternoon, and as a result about 200,000 consumers in the state would experience unscheduled water disruption.

Treated water from the Sungai Dua Water Treatment Plant is pumped through the Sungai Prai pipeline to the Third Penang Twin Submarine pipelines and onwards to the Southwest district.

The statement added that PBAPP was striving to pump water through the pipeline at minimal flow, temporarily.

‘’PBAPP has also activated an emergency response plan. We will keep updating the latest development,” said the statement.

Meanwhile, areas in Sungai Ara, Bayan Lepas, Bukit Gedung have started experiencing water disruption as of 5pm today.

The underwater pipeline leakage in Sungai Perai today was the third after two similar incidents that also caused water disruption to consumers in December and Jan 12.

Following the previous leakage, the Penang state government had installed a temporary pipeline across Sungai Perai to temporarily overcome the leakage and water disruption.

The temporary installation of the pipeline is expected to be completed by Feb 2 and is expected to function for about eight months pending a new project to replace the underwater pipeline in Sungai Perak is completed. -Bernama

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