Tests show Sungai Koyan, Bakun Dam water unsafe for drinking

Tests on water samples taken from Bakun Dam and Sungai Koyan carried out by a university in California and Jiao Tong University in Shanghai show that the level of iron and aluminium in the water were detrimental to health.

This was disclosed by local scientist Dr Elli Luhat who said the level of aluminium in the water sample from Sg Koyan was 4.41 milligram per litre, whereas the safe drinking standard set by Malaysia is 0.2 milligram per litre.

He added that his group of researchers collected the samples for testing from the two locations recently.

On the water supply problem afflicting some 10,000 people in Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme, Elli claimed that he had a quick, practical and scientific solution to end their predicament.

He said his company, DLT Ronser (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, possessed the technology that can properly filter water from Sg Koyan resettlement scheme’s polluted water source.

DLT Ronser could fabricate between five and six mobile water filtering and transport units for Sg Asap within six months if the state government was keen.

Each unit can process about 1,000 cubic metres of water per day, and it required only 10 kilowatt (KW) to operate the system.

Elli acknowledged the water situation in Bakun was a complex scientific issue, but since he had been involved in research and development on water treatment for the past eight years, he felt he was up to the challenge of solving the water woes in Sg Asap.

“The government is looking to build a new water treatment plant in Sg Asap, which is expected to be ready in 2017.

While waiting for this, I can offer an immediate and practical scientific solution.

“Give us six months, and we are confident we can solve the water problem in Sg Asap,” he told a press conference at his office in BDC Stampin here yesterday.

On the long term solution, he said he was considering setting up a permanent water filtration system on his three-acre plot near Sg Koyan.

Resettled to make way for the building of the mammoth Bakun Dam in 1998, Sg Asap community, comprising some 1,600 households, often receive murky water and dry taps for days.

However, their patience seemed to have reached boiling point.

Last Saturday, some 50 villagers representing the 15 longhouses in Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme staged a boisterous albeit peaceful protest over the matter.

Elli, who is DLT Ronser (Sarawak) executive chairman, stressed that if the state was keen on acquiring the services of his company, DLT Ronser was prepared to go ahead with its initiative and bill the government later.

His company, in collaboration with Ronser Bio-Tech Bhd, is contemplating setting up a reactor-based Expanded Granular Sludge Bed technology that removes biodegradable organic and suspended solids using high velocity water pumped upwards through a sludge bed – a by-product of wastewater.

Ronser has successfully deployed this technology in its palm oil mill effluent zero discharge pilot plant in Labu, Negeri Sembilan since 2011.

Frost and Sullivan even named Ronser Bio-Tech Bhd the 2015 Wastewater Treatment Entrepreneurial Company of the Year in recognition of its exemplary multi-disciplinary environmental services in wastewater treatment.

“We also specialise in water treatment and management for agriculture purposes. The award was in recognition of our cutting edge technology in wastewater filtration and management.”


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