High-tech to treat sewage
Modern facility: Papan 2 Regional Sewerage Treatment Plant in Batu Gajah, Perak, built at a cost of more than RM452mil is an initiative by Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Ministry. The catchment area is 195sq km covering Ipoh, part of Gunung Rapat, and Menglembu. — MANJIT KAUR/The Star
RESIDENTS in Ipoh, parts of Gunung Rapat and Menglembu will get to experience improved sewerage services with a state-of-the-art sewerage treatment plant in Papan, Perak.
Focusing on green technology, the plant will play a role in reducing potential river pollution.
Papan is a small town located about 15km from Ipoh. It is under the Batu Gajah district and is part of the Jelapang constituency.
Known as Papan 2 Regional Sewerage Treatment Plant (RSTP), the RM452,537,600 facility was launched by Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
The Papan 2 Regional Sewerage Treatment Plant is supervised by JPP, resulting in RM110mil savings for the govt. — MANJIT KAUR/The Star
The Sewerage Services Department (JPP), an agency under the ministry, is in charge of the project.
JPP director-general Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah said some 600,000 residents would benefit from the newly launched plant.
He highlighted that it would be able to service up to 900,000 residents in the future.
He said the treatment plant was capable of treating sewerage from a 18.5ha area in Mukim Belanja under the Kinta district, with a sewerage catchment area of 195sq km.
Drone shot of the Papan 2 Regional Sewerage Treatment Plant. — Courtesy of JPP
“This plant uses the extended aeration treatment system, which receives sewerage from Sewerage Pipe Network Construction Project in Ipoh city centre, part of Gunung Rapat and Menglembu areas.
“The plant not only reduces problems related to existing sewerage treatment systems that are smaller and inefficient, it also allows connection to sewer pipe network system for new developments.
“It is capable of reducing the potential of river pollution and guaranteeing sustainability of water resources,” he said.
Wan Abdul Rahim said that in addition, the plant could increase coverage of quality sewerage services, while conserving river water quality through discharge of treated effluent that complied with regulations.
Nik Nazmi (centre) being briefed about the Papan 2 Regional Sewerage Treatment Plant by JPP staff. With him is Wan Abdul Rahim (behind the minister, in pink shirt).
“The treated effluent is then released into nearby Sungai Johan in Papan and Sungai Kinta.”
He said the large-scale plant construction had received recognition from Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) for “The Biggest Circular Shape Pumping Station” and “Deepest Inlet Chamber Pumping Station”. It is 22m-deep from ground level.
“The Inlet Pumping Station is also the first round-shaped, and has the largest round surface in Malaysia with a 42m-diameter,” he added.
Nik Nazmi, in his speech, said the project was constructed under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
He said the total population for the entire catchment area was estimated to increase to 1.5 million by 2045.
Water at Sungai Johan, located behind Papan Lama village, turned a worrying colour a few months ago. — Courtesy of Lum Wei Di
“Perak received the largest allocation of RM2.2bil for Federal Government projects covering three different areas.
“Two other similar projects are in Pangkor Island and Assam Kumbang in Taiping.
“Both projects have been completed and handed over to Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd to be operated and maintained.
“I am grateful to JPP because this project was fully supervised by its staff without appointing a project management consultant, bringing savings of RM110mil to the government,” he added.
“I hope JPP will continue to create more records like this while proving its employees’ ability at the international level,” said the minister.
Nik Nazmi said new green development approaches such as reuse of effluents, use of energy efficient equipment and solar energy was incorporated into the plant’s construction.
He said green technology, renewable energy and recycling would help reduce the carbon footprint.
Now that the project had been handed over to IWK, he hoped it could further develop green technology initiatives at the plant, based on wealth from waste concept, from the production of by-products of sewerage such as bioeffluent and biomass.
“The initiative is also in line with the government’s effort in targeting that 33% of bio-effluent produced from sewerage treatment plants are reused by 2030.
“Cultivating a circular economy from sewerage treatment by-products can be an important contributor to environmental preservation efforts, and will become a national economic generator for the water sector,” he added.
Jelapang assemblyman Cheah Pou Hian, who described the project as a good initiative, said there were some concerns.
He hoped the plant would help resolve issues of poorly maintained smaller plants, and missing motor pumps.
“There are also issues of pollution, and horrible stench faced by villages and residential areas.
“I want assurance that wastewater released from outlets into the rivers is clear, stench-free and will not cause pollution.
“Treated water, being released into Sungai Johan and later into Sungai Kinta, will pass through many residential areas, so I don’t want the people to suffer from pollution,” he added.
|Cheah is asking for assurance that wastewater released from outlets into rivers is clear, stench-free and will not cause pollution.
Cheah also raised concerns about flash floods, especially during the wet season.
“Since wastewater from the plant will flow into two rivers, I am worried about overflow during the monsoon season.
“I will raise this matter at the next state assembly session in December, as I want a written reply as to what measures are to be taken in such circumstances,” he added.
Cheah said that in August, he visited the plant as well as Sungai Johan together with representatives from JPP, Batu Gajah District Council, state Environment Department (DOE) and Perak Drainage and Irrigation Department (DID).
“I raised the same questions but was told that a huge pipeline project is being planned in four years’ time.
“However, when asked, Nik Nazmi was not aware of such a project.
“So I don’t want to listen to empty promises, I want concrete answers,” he said, adding that he hoped IWK would maintain the plant properly.
Papan Lama Village chief Lum Wei Di, 45, said the village was situated about 3km from the treatment plant.
She said residents were worried about the river being polluted as well as potential stench.
|Lum: Villagers are worried about the river being polluted, as the plant is 3km from their village.
“Three months ago, Sungai Johan, which is about 300m away from our village, turned blackish and we are not sure whether it was caused by pollution from a nearby landfill or from elsewhere,” she said.
“We are worried that with the new plant so close to our village, and with the river passing through our backyard, we may face similar issues again.”
Lum is also concerned about flash floods.
She said the village was prone to flooding during downpours.
“Just a few weeks ago, the village was flooded after continuous rain. It took more than an hour for water to recede.
“Now with additional wastewater flowing through the river and heavy rain, flash floods may occur frequently,” she added.