Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) will be taking over the operations of 206 wastewater treatment plants in Johor Bahru and Pasir Gudang from the Johor government.
The takeover follows an agreement by the state government to hand over public sewerage services in areas under the jurisdiction of the Johor Bahru City Council and the Pasir Gudang Municipal Council to IWK for operation and maintenance, commencing April this year.
The takeover is important to ensure better sewerage services in the two affected areas as lack of proper wastewater management or treatment can result in prevalent issues such as poor sanitation and environmental conditions.
There would be extreme difficulty and discomfort for the public in carrying out their daily routine.
The existence of water-borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever stemming from the lack of efficient sewerage system can threaten public health and livelihood of the people.
This could be avoided with IWK undertaking the mandate of operating and maintaining 8,147 sewage treatment plants and network pumping stations.
These plants and stations treat wastewater to a level where it can be safely released back into the river without causing any harm to the environment. They are located nationwide except for Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak.
This number makes up a connectivity rate of 70% where more than 26 million people enjoy the connected service access.
While IWK provides these services, it will also support the Johor government through knowledge transfer with Johor Special Water Sdn Bhd (JSW).
The takeover will benefit the state economically as the collaboration between IWK and JSW will unveil more business opportunities in which they can tap into.
IWK’s expertise, combined with JSW’s experience will also translate to a better level of service for domestic consumers and businesses.
At the same time, it would also look into the potential of setting up a wastewater treatment plant to produce a new source of water, besides assisting the state government in implementing the Regional Sewerage Treatment Plant.
IWK needs approximately 24 months to repair and upgrade some of the ageing plants in Johor Bahru and Pasir Gudang to achieve the desired level of operation, as well as to meet the standards set by the Department of Environment (DOE).
With about 200,000 customers in these areas, IWK practices stringent compliance to standards governed by DOE and the regulator, the National Water Services Commission (SPAN).
With quality sanitation, the public will be able to lead a healthy lifestyle and contribute to the society as well as national growth.