Department admits to oversight as minister visits plant
Bandar Seri Begawan - The Minister of Development, Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi bin Haji Osman, visited the Bukit Barun Water Treatment Plant yesterday to take a closer look at the operations and to fully understand the events that caused the contamination of water supply last Sunday.
Following the contamination experienced by the majority in the Brunei-Muara District, the Water Services Department under the Ministry of Development has advised members of the public to flush and clean the tanks and system within the house.
The Director of Water Services Department, Public Works Department, Awg Amer Hishamuddin bin POKAP DSS Hj Zakaria, explained in an interview that though the cause of the incident was rectified immediately after the occurrence, cooperation from those who are still affected is sought to ensure that the country's water continue to remain of high quality.
"The system has returned to normal but there is still lingering contamination" due to an oversight when personnel were in the midst of repairing damaged gauge valves at the raw water pump plant in Kuala Abang in Tutong that controls the water flow, explained Amer Hishamuddin.
"We (now) have procedures in place to ensure that this does not happen again," he stated and added that the department is now looking towards learning from the episode and to further improve their services to "hopefully be better prepared".
"What happened was that the repair works reduced the amount of water going into the (Bukit Barun) treatment plant, which led to low water levels in the treatment tank and the sediments there were subsequently disturbed.
"It was then pumped out into the system and we couldn't stop it. Unfortunately, by the time we realised what had happened, it was too late and the only thing we could do was to flush the sediments out," he said.
Stressing that "one of our biggest focus is to actually ensure that the water is safe", he also stated that personnel from the department have been making their rounds to affected areas.
At the site, the minister was briefed on water treatment and testing procedures that are carried out to measure the quality of treated water.
The Public Works Department in a press release stated that the Bukit Barun Water Treatment Plant supplies water to about 80 per cent of the Brunei-Muara District, approximately 240 million litres of water per day.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin