Aluminum air pipes

Nearly RM900m has been spent on replacing old water pipes in Selangor since 2016, according to Air Selangor

AIR Selangor recorded a higher number of water pipe leak cases in 2021 compared to 2020 with 135,413 cases vs 124,614 cases respectively.

During the launch of Air Selangor’s 2021 sustainability report, its chief executive, Suhaimi Kamaralzaman, however, said there were fewer cases of pipe bursts in 2021 with 1,910 cases, bringing their sustainability index pipe burst (PBI) at 6.37%. In 2020, it was 8%.

He said the PBI was a measure of the frequency of a burst pipe per 100 km.

“The world standard is around 13 (for 100 km).

“PBI is a useful indicator and metric to define a KPI at Air Selangor,” he said during a press conference at The Vertical in Bangsar South on Thursday, June 30.

Suhaimi said that since 2016, Air Selangor has spent nearly RM900 million to replace old water pipes in the state.

He added that they allocate around RM150 million a year to replace aging pipes, under their program to replace old pipes.

“We understand consumer concerns (about bursting water pipes), and we’re downplaying that to further reduce the numbers.”

Suhaimi said they prioritize identifying leaks in pipes before they burst.

“Leaks have increased from the previous year, so we have our teams traveling to identify leaks.

“These leaks drip into the ground, although it is still non-revenue water, and we replace it before the pipe bursts.

“This is considered our short and medium term measures. The long-term measures are to replace water pipes,” he said, adding that Air Selangor has replaced more than 90 km of pipes in 2021 with allowances to replace 150 km of pipes per year.

It is part of Air Selangor’s plan to replace 6,000km of old and aging pipes, mostly made of asbestos and cement, laid in the 1980s.

The theme of Air Selangor’s sustainability report this year is “Nurturing a Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystem”.

“The theme is apt to showcase our commitment as an organization to act as a catalyst to collaborate with other industry players to foster a sustainable water ecosystem.

“Collaboration is of the utmost importance to ensure the safety of our water from source to tap.

“We have a total of 8.4 million consumers in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya.

“This reflects the scale of our operations to ensure a continuous, sustainable, clean and safe supply of treated water to all consumers,” he said.