The National Water Services Commission (SPAN) today reminded owners of communal septic tanks (CSTs) of their responsibility to desludge and maintain the tanks to prevent sewerage complications in their area.
It said in a statement that over the last three years, very little desludging CSTs has been carried out and even their maintenance has been ignored by the owners.
Part of the maintenance called for the desludging of CSTs periodically to avoid overflow or backflow of sludge, it said, adding that this can be taken care of by hiring a licensed sewerage contractor such as Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK), or Manjaari Services Sdn Bhd in Kelantan.
“If a CST breaks down, the entire neighbourhood will suffer, having to endure the most offensive of smells and potential health problems,” it said.
SPAN cited an incident in Kampung Baru Semenyih recently where the residents of PKNS low-cost houses signed an agreement with IWK for the first time since 2008 after an investigation by SPAN and IWK found that the sludge in the residents’ CST was almost full and the tank’s damaged outlet pipe had caused a blockage.
It said that according to Section 62 of the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (WSIA 2006), a septic tank used by more than one premises becomes the joint responsibility of the owners or occupiers of premises, regardless of where the tank is located.
Found only in certain residential areas in the country and built decades ago, a CST is a collection unit for sewage discharged through a network of pipes connecting each individual home in the area, and the CST is usually located at the end lot of a row of houses.
SPAN said there are 3,632 CSTs in the country, and that does not include privately owned CSTs.