Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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Brunei Town

Addressing water issue with treatment plant upgrade

Azlan Othman

The lack of quantity and quality of clean water in the Sultanate may no longer be an issue following the signing to upgrade Bukit Barun Water Treatment Plant Construction Project at the Public Works Department (JKR) headquarters yesterday.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar attended as the guest of honour.

Recent years have seen water supply disruptions in some areas in Brunei-Muara, such as RPN Kampong Lambak Kanan, Kampong Subok and Kampong Lumapas increasing, with findings from an environmental study on manganese and other mineral contents along Sungai Tutong showing that the quality of raw water from the river is inconsistent, in terms of minerals and impurities.

“Frequent weather changes, rainfalls and floods around the Sungai Tutong catchment often result in increased mineral content, such as manganese and iron, exceeding the treatment capacity limits of the original design of the Bukit Barun Water Treatment Plant (Stage 4 and 5),” JKR Acting Director-General Ir Haji Mohd Salleh bin Haji Abdul Karim said.

“The situation contributes to the inability of the plant to fully handle the raw water treatment process, contributing to the occurrence of complaints of lack of water and yellow water problems,” he said, adding that the plant has been operating for almost 30 years.

For the short-term, the JKR is implementing a project to upgrade the Bukit Barun Water Treatment Plant which is in its Phase 2.

Through the 11th National Development Plan, several projects will be implemented to address the issue surrounding clean water supply.

Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar takes a closer look at an exhibit of a project.
ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Ir Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar witnesses the contract signing between the ministry and Surati Construction Sdn Bhd (above); and Thong & Thong Sdn Bhd. PHOTOS: AZLAN OTHMAN

He added that JKR is also implementing a non-revenue water (NRW) study in several water zones in the Sultanate.

The project’s Phase 1 has been completed with several flowmeters installed at strategic places, while Phase 2 is in the implementation stage.

With the study, the percentage of NRW through leaks that result in wastage of clean water will be reduced and in turn provide clear information to optimise the pipeline network.

The JKR has also identified new projects for the upcoming National Development Plan, which will have a positive impact on the downstream water supply, such as the installation of new pipes and the construction of new storage tanks.

The water treatment plant project contractor is Surati Construction Sdn Bhd, with a contract worth BND48,880,819.80. The project will run for 36 months.

Meanwhile, Ir Haji Mohd Salleh yesterday revealed a project, involving the construction of Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA), providing platforms for the university’s buildings and the provision of major infrastructure including roads, water supply, electricity, sewerage and drainage, and telecommunications.

The contract offered to Thong & Thong Sdn Bhd at a cost of BND33,976,353.19, is expected to be completed in 24 months.

The scope of work also includes site clearance, soil investigation works, earthworks and slope protection works.

The third project signed yesterday was for the extension of Menglait Secondary School.

The project worth BND2,683,000 is expected to be completed in 12 months, fronted by Tekad Fajar Sdn Bhd.

The scope includes the construction of a new two-storey building with minor earthworks, surface water and foul drainage, external water supply and related mechanical and electrical installations.

Ir Haji Mohd Salleh said the projects reflect the government’s efforts in realising one of the goals of Brunei Vision 2035 – ensuring a high quality of life for the people.

The contracts were signed by the JKR Acting Director-General, the Acting Director of Water Services, the Director of Development, and representatives of appointed contractors.

Also present at the ceremony were Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Ar Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin, UNISSA Rector Dr Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal, Acting Permanent Secretary (Infrastructure, Housing and Professionals) at the Ministry of Development (MoD) Sr Hajah Norhayati binti Haji Mohd Yaakub, and Acting Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Awang Chin Wei Keh, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Corporate and Legal) at the MoD Aldila binti Haji Mohamad Salleh, as well as JKR officers and staff.