Every drop is a clean and safe experience

Water is one of the most precious resources on Earth as it constitutes approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface and provides life to organisms and the natural world. However, due to environmental pollution and improper management, the world is grappling with the challenges of water wastage and scarcity. Therefore, clean and safe water resources are crucial for the advancement of human civilisation, including the sustainable lifestyles of societies, cities, and nations.

Build Consumers’ Trust

As the largest water service provider in Malaysia, Air Selangor with the support of relevant authorities and agencies work to ensure the daily production of approximately 5.2 billion litres of treated water and this treated water will be distributed through a water pipeline network spanning approximately 30,680 kilometers, serving 2.6 million customers (approximately 9.3 million consumers) in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, and Putrajaya. Air Selangor is committed to providing the best customer experience and considers it their mission to deliver clean and safe treated water, ensuring joy in every drop.

Trust Our Tap 2028

To ensure the supply of clean and safe drinking water, Air Selangor initiated the “Trust Our Tap 2028” programme in 2020. The programme aims to achieve this goal through the following four core elements:

  1. Protection of raw water resources
  2. Control and monitoring of water quality
  3. Increase the laboratory’s capacity and capability to diagnose, and
  4. Preservation of treated water quality

To achieve the goals of “Trust Our Tap 2028,” Air Selangor has formulated a series of related measures, including various strategies and operational plans related to sustainability, water quality, and pollution control (pollution monitoring at water catchment areas).

In Malaysia, rivers are classified into five (5) categories. Air Selangor is only permitted to extract water for treatment and production from rivers classified as Class I, Class II, and Class III. These resource limitations, coupled with population growth leading to demand surpassing supply, have presented a persistent challenge for Air Selangor.

Clean and safe water sources are crucial indicators of the well-being of the community. Air Selangor has extended its initiatives to work hand in hand with the relevant authorities to protect and manage the sustainable state of catchment areas and waterways to achieve a balance between supply and demand, ensuring a clean and safe water supply. Air Selangor also urges the public to contribute to the protection of water resources.

Fully committed to provide clean and safe drinking water

In 2023, Air Selangor achieved the Ministry of Health Malaysia’s (KKM) distinguished record of 99.92 percent compliance with the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality (NSDWQ) and 100 percent compliance with Quality Assurance Programme (QAP).  The DWQS is based on guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for drinking water quality, and this standard is applied in many countries worldwide such as Singapore, Japan, and Australia. This accomplishment is attributed to the comprehensive water quality monitoring and real-time monitoring technologies implemented by Air Selangor.

*NSDWQ stands for ” National Standard for Drinking Water Quality.” These standards typically include limits and criteria for various contaminants and parameters present in water, covering aspects such as microbiological, chemical, and physical characteristics.

*QAP represents “Quality Assurance Programme.” In QAP assessments, a combination of parameters is evaluated, including coliform bacteria, residual chlorine balance, free chlorine, turbidity, and aluminum residue.

Control and Monitoring of Water Quality

To ensure the supply of clean and safe drinking water, Air Selangor has introduced advanced real-time water quality monitoring technology, such as the Hybrid Distribution Water Quality Real-Time Analyser (HYDRA). Air Selangor utilises 190 HYDRA stations for continuous 24/7 online water quality monitoring. When abnormalities are detected in the water, HYDRA issues alert signals, supporting water quality recovery to ensure the normal operation of water supply. This real-time monitoring system helps enhance real-time understanding of water quality conditions, enabling prompt detection and response to deterioration of water quality, thus ensuring the safety of drinking water for the public.

Besides that, reservoir water quality assessment and water sampling activities will also be carried out to ensure water quality is in accordance with national standards. In 2023, Air Selangor has conducted more than 2.4 million water quality analyses across the entire company’s operations. Every water treatment plant will be conducting a test every two hours. A total of about 190,000 analysis per year are carried out in the regional laboratory, including physical, chemical and microbiological parameters.

Increase the laboratory’s capacity and capability to diagnose

Other than sampling activities on-site, Air Selangor operates three regional laboratories that are certified with ISO 17025:2017. These laboratories are at Sungai Selangor, Sungai Labu and Sungai Semenyih WTPs. These laboratories which are well equipped with advanced analytical instruments allow Air Selangor to test for additional microbiological and chemical parameters which are beyond the current parameters required under national standards.

As of December 2023, the three regional laboratories have conducted a total of 258,336 water quality analysis. Air Selangor also operates 1,804 water quality sampling stations located in the distribution system. Among them, 759 are supervised by the Ministry of Health, 463 are supervised by Air Selangor and 69 are jointly supervised by the Ministry of Health and Air Selangor.

Preserve Water Quality & Remediation Works

Before reaching consumers, drinking water will be stored in water reservoirs. To ensure the quality of water, Air Selangor regularly cleans water reservoirs and pipelines. The cleaning methods include regular and high-pressure pipeline cleaning. Cleaning may lead to low water pressure, and temporary water supply interruptions. Therefore, Air Selangor provides the information via Air Selangor mobile app, allowing users to be informed in advance to store water.

Other than that, Air Selangor has installed a total of 39 off-plant Autonomous Chlorine Injection System (OACIS) station at low free residual chlorine reservoirs outlet. OACIS is a secondary chlorination system that autonomously doses chlorine into distribution pipeline to overcome low free residual chlorine (FRC).

Discharge of Brown Water from Filter Backwashing

While Air Selangor takes pride in providing drinking water that complies with national standards, users should be aware of the situation that may occur due to the installation of water filters. When water supply passes through the filter, the minerals are trapped and accumulated in the filter over time. The accumulated minerals appear brownish following the reaction with chlorine and dissolved oxygen present in water supply. When filter backwashing process is carried out, the accumulated minerals will be removed from the filter and discharged together with the backwash water. This causes the discharged backwash water to appear brownish. However, this is not the treated drinking water provided by Air Selangor. Air Selangor will continue to explore innovative technologies to enhance the cleanliness and safety of drinking water.

Air Selangor is committed to provide the best experience for consumers. They not only ensure water quality safety through technological means but also demonstrate a comprehensive commitment in areas such as user trust, protection of water resources, real-time monitoring, and cleaning maintenance. Despite limited water resources, Air Selangor not only fulfills its obligations but also addresses longstanding challenges through advanced technology and innovative measures.

For consumers, this is not just a clean and safe drinking water experience but also a commitment to a sustainable lifestyle and a responsibility for the well-being of the people. Air Selangor will continue its efforts to ensure that every drop of water symbolises joy and becomes a driver for the sustainable development of society.

Article Published in Sin Chew (Print) on 30 March 2024.