Home TA Online Are our water storage tanks safely maintained? 

Are our water storage tanks safely maintained? 

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A viral video showing brown water or sludge in a rusty water storage tank has alarmed many.

The state of the domestic water tanks throughout the country must be addressed. 

Is the water supply reaching over 30 million residents of Malaysia clean and safe for consumption? 

Millions of homeowners do not periodically flush, drain and clean their water tanks, which are usually perched in tight, inaccessible corners beneath their rooftops. 

Many believe that fitting expensive filtration devices will give them clean water that is healthy and safe for consumption. But will such devices be able to handle water from filthy tanks?

Residents of low-income apartments have no idea about the condition of the huge storage tanks perched at the top of their multi-storey blocks. 

The same can also be said about the water storage tanks above plush condominium blocks. Residents will naturally assume that the mammoth water storage tanks on the rooftop are maintained in pristine condition because they pay hefty management fees. 

Who guarantees that these water storage tanks are well maintained with regular inspections and spot checks? 

The government may proudly proclaim that Malaysia has modernised and provides clean, treated water through its pipelines – which is largely true.

But to what extent are the authorities and relevant agencies aware that unmaintained storage tanks will ultimately contaminate the treated water in them? 

More likely, these agencies and authorities may convince us that the responsibility for ensuring that water storage tanks are properly maintained is not theirs. 

The management of high-rise buildings will tell you they are doing their job. 

When water tanks are not maintained or inspected regularly over time, the sludge and rust building up in them could contaminate the water. 

How many people are concerned about the need to ensure that their water supply not only looks clean but is safe and free of toxins as well?

The government has the mammoth task of educating consumers about this. It needs to ensure that everyone in Malaysia gets water that is not only clear but also free from harmful chemicals and toxins.

Perhaps the government should set up labs all over the country to test the water at different points of the supply chain.

The authorities could also distribute simple, affordable test kits to help people monitor the water quality in their homes, workplaces and business premises. 

Water is a life-force. Many of us just wish to ensure that the water that reaches us is safe for consumption.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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