We’re going to be paying more for our sewerage systems if we keep flushing crap down the drain!
The government plans to increase the tariff structure for sewerage services structure to accommodate rising operational costs. Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) will present their tariff changes to the cabinet to be approved. IWK has said that its profit is not enough to cover its operational costs.
“The ministry has studied this matter in detail. The rates for different consumer groups are below the cost of supply. This is including the current RM8 imposed on domestic consumers,” said Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Loo Took Gee.
The last tariff revision was carried out in 1986 and the rates for commercial customers had been reduced three times since then.
The National Water Services Commission (SPAN), which regulates IWK, had proposed a tariff restructure three years ago based on water usage instead of a flat rate but this was opposed by consumer groups.
SPAN CEO, Datuk Mohd Ridhuan Ismail pointed to the bad habits of Malaysians flushing garbage down the sewerage system that greatly increased IWK’s maintenance costs.
“As the system is only designed to treat waste water, rubbish can cause sewerage pipes to be blocked and damage the system, leading to more costs for repair works. If this culture continues, we will definitely need a higher tariff. SPAN’s position is a tariff hike is long overdue,” he said.
Under Section 61 of the Act, no one is allowed to dispose harmful substances or matter that can damage the public sewage treatment works or interfere with the free flow of its contents. These offenders can be fined up to RM100,000 or jailed up to one year or both.
The revised tariff structure will be revealed “at the right time”.