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Cameron Highlands set to enjoy consistent, high-quality water supply

Sungai Ichat
Pahang chief minister Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail (right) takes a drink from the Sungai Ichat to prove that the water is cleaner now compared to the previous years, where illegal farming in the area polluted the river. – NSTP/MOHD RAFI MAMAT.

KUANTAN: From this November, the Sungai Ichat water intake point will provide additional raw water to the Kuala Terla water treatment plant, assuring Cameron Highlands residents of a greater supply of consistently-treated water.

Pengurusan Air Pahang Berhad (Paip) chief executive officer Saiful Zaini Mohd Bokhari said the Sungai Ichat water intake point, which is under construction, is expected to be completed within 10 weeks.

He said once completed, it will increase the plant’s treated water capacity by 50 per cent.

“Consumers in Cameron Highlands will benefit… from consistent and safe water supply. The contractor is now in the midst of carrying out the required works at the Sungai Ichat water intake point,” he said in a statement today.

On behalf of Paip, Saiful Zaini thanked the state government for its stern measures in handling the Sungai Ichat pollution issue last year, which was caused by illegal land clearing activities near the water catchment area.

“The move (by the government) resulted in the raw water quality in Sungai Ichat to improve to Class 1 (minimum treatment), making it safe for consumption. Sungai Ichat will soon provide additional raw water to the Kuala Terla treatment plant, which supplies treated water to 70 per cent of Cameron Highlands consumers.

“Lately, the quality of raw water in Cameron Highlands has dropped, and this has affected the processing of treated water, especially during peak hours, and jeopardised future development plans. However, raw water from Sungai Ichat could soon help overcome the issue,” he said.

The Sungai Ichat water intake point began construction only after the river water, which was once categorised as Class 4 (moderate), was rehabilitated to Class 1.

Even Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, during his recent visit to Sungai Ichat, scooped up some water in his hands, which he then drank and washed his face with, to prove that it is now no longer a health threat.

Encroachment, including by illegal farmers, jeopardised river water flow until the state government last year demolished illegal farms in Sungai Ichat to ensure environmental sustainability and to safeguard the people’s interests.