KUCHING: An audit carried out from October to December 2013 showed the state Water Treatment Plant (WTP) management had complied with the rules and regulations for acquisition of services and chemical.
The auditors, however, found maintenance work carried out in six of the 14 WTPs visited unsatisfactory.
In the Auditor General’s Report for 2013, which was tabled in Parliament yesterday, the AG listed down recommendations for improving this aspect.
The report states that preparation of the budget was not done according to the annual maintenance schedule of WTP and because of that the allocations were not sufficient for carrying out preventive maintenance according to schedule. Maintenance was only carried out as and when is required.
To overcome these weaknesses and to ensure the same issues would not recur, the AG proposed that the state Public Works Department (JKR) prepare the annual budget for periodic preventive maintenance to be carried for each of the water treatment plant in accordance with PWD Water Supply Authority Standing Orders so that the WTP could function efficiently, ensuring quality of treated water, and reduce incidences of breakdown.
The state JKR should also monitor closely the maintenance contractors to ensure work standards and contract specifications are complied with. The State Water Resources Council Sarawak should establish a procedure for cases whereby the test results of samples by the Ministry of Health are beyond the norms set to be investigated and acted upon immediately.
The Sarawak government should consider the setting up a specific department for managing all WTPs in the state that are not currently under the jurisdiction of Water Supply Agencies for more systematic and regulated operations.
Treated water in the state is supplied by Kuching Water Board, Sibu Water Board, Laku Management Sdn Bhd and JKR.
Kuching Water Board supplies water to Kuching city areas, Sibu Water Board to Sibu town, Laku Management to the town of Bintulu, Miri and Limbang. State JKR through its water supply branch is responsible for the supply of treated water to areas where treated water is not being supplied by the water supply agencies.
From 2010 to 2013, a total of RM303.03 million was approved and as at December 2013 a total of RM292.14 million was spent on operational and maintenance of WTP under the state JKR.