Sarawak ID|Register


Safer way to treat water
Posted on : 18 Sep 2017  Source of News: The Borneo Post

ERIAN: The Ministry of Utilities is seriously considering using a safer alternative to chlorine gas for water disinfection at all treatment plants across the state.

Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi said the ministry is trying to move away from the conventional use of chlorine gas because it poses danger to the users.

It is found that electro-chlorination is a much safer alternative for water disinfection – getting rid of the germs, bacteria, viruses and other microbes from the water – than using chlorine gas.

“This morning, we received a briefing on the pilot project for the alternative disinfection by electro-chlorination.

“I’m thankful to Lutz Jesco from Germany for introducing the technology, which is simple and faster to install – taking only a few days.

“We hope to use this technology for the future disinfection for our water. As we all know, we need very good quality water within the suitable limit of World Health Organisation (WHO) for the people,” he told reporters during an official visit to the Slabi water treatment plant here yesterday.

According to Dr Rundi, he had actually visited the plant in Germany that used the electro-chlorination technology.

He added that at the moment, his side is running a trial for 10-million-litreper-day (MLD) plant at Slabi, which supplies water to areas across Simunjan.

“The pilot project is so far so good. The interesting part is we will connect the system online so that we can monitor it from JBLAB (Rural Water Supply Department) headquarters or even via handphone.

“This will enable us to know the chemical level and so on, whether it is running well or not,” he said.

Dr Rundi said the gist of what they have at Slabi now is to eliminate the danger of chlorine gas, the usage of chlorine, the transportation of chlorine to the plant from the port and the storage of chlorine at the plant.

He said chlorine gas storage requires a highly-secured area in view of the danger of explosion, abuse and other harmful risks.

As such, he said it is good for the state government to look into the statewide implementation or installation of this new alternative, presently running at the Slabi plant.

“I think we will discuss further in the cabinet how we can actually improve the quality of the water for consumption.

“While we are talking about the water grid or the ultimate plan that we have in the future, we must look at the current situation – to be secured in terms of water quality and security of the treatment plants,” he said.

Electro-chlorination is a process whereby hypochlorite is generated from electrolysis of using brine solution.

According to Dr Rundi, this method is much safer as the main ingredient used is salt.

He said the method, which has been used in Europe and America and begins to make it big in Mexico, is safe to the consumers.

“We are looking at the long term. We don’t have to use chlorine gas. You just need salt, which in a long run is cheaper.”

The amount of salt used for the 10-MLD plant in Slabi is 75kg per day.

Dr Rundi, however, assured all that the salt would not go into the body system as it is only used to produce hypochlorite.

Joining the visit were Assistant Minister of Water Supply Dato Liwan Lagang, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi and Lutz Jesco chief operating officer Robert Heuschneider.


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