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Last Update: 25 Jun 2017
Version 8.0.2
Problems Related to the Quality of WaterProblems Related to the Quality of Water

The following questions are frequently asked questions raised by the public, if your questions are not answered below, please contact our office by phone number +6084-211001 or fill in our feedback form (Feedback Form)


WQ1    Is my water safe to drink? What is the definition of safe water?

Water from Sibu Water Board is safe to drink because it conforms to the National Standard for Drinking Water Quality, which is more stringent than the World Health Organisation(WHO) Drinking Water Guideline. Water that conforms to WHO Drinking Water Guideline is deemed ‘safe to drink’.

WQ2    Why is the water supply to my house dirty?

It could be due to one of the following reasons:

  1. Bib tap or faucet is corroded due to low quality material used
  2. Stagnant water at the dead end of water main
  3. Galvanized iron pipe that have corroded over the years.
  4. Storage tank( G.I. or stainless steel tank) is not regularly cleaned and maintained
  5. Our raw water source is Batang Rajang. It is rich in soluble minerals like iron and manganese. Iron and manganese are colorless in their soluble form. Our treatment process is able to remove the bulk of these minerals, leaving traces which are within the allowable limits in the Drinking Water Quality Standards (WQ1). Our final stage of treatment is disinfection by chlorination after the filter. When the traces of iron and manganese come in contact with chlorine and the dissolved oxygen in the water, they form insoluble compounds which precipitate out and normally adhere to the inner wall of the pipes. The deposits may be dislodged and give the nuisance appearance under the following circumstances.
    • Change of pressure in the system due to sudden high demand.
    • Surge of water flow when valves which were closed to repair leaking or bust pipes are reopened.
  6. Water at ‘dead end’ of pipelines. Refer WQ4.

WQ3    Yellowish water has been supplied to my house recently. Is it safe for drinking?

Yellowish water may appear sometimes in the early morning or after a certain hours for not using the water. This is a corrosion symptom of the water connected materials. It may happen at the bib tap, faucet or communication pipe. However, it is safe for drinking although it is not pleasing aesthetically and is a nuisance for laundry purpose. It can be easily be removed with a few layers of jeans cloth fitted to the tap, or running the tap for several minutes.

WQ4    My drinking water is reddish/ blackish in color. What causes this?

As explained in item 5 of WQ2, the precipitate may collect at the end of the pipe line, where water is not circulated or being used for certain periods. This water has to be ‘flushed away’ regularly, and we have a flushing program for such ‘dead ends.’ (WQ4). If your house is situated near such dead ends, we shall immediately arrange to do additional flushing, and our flushing interval to the area will be shortened accordingly.

WQ5    Should I buy drinking water from a vending machine?

Buying water from vending machine is a matter of personal choice. The treatment of vending machine water is based on sound scientific principles. Treatment such as reverse osmosis, activated carbon absorption, and ultraviolet light disinfection are often used in vending machine. As with any mechanical equipment, vending machine treatment devices must be regularly maintained and water quality tested to provide satisfactory operation. 

WQ6     My drinking water is not acceptable. To whom should I complain?

You can call hotline no.084-216311. The CSLO will explain to you as much as they can.

WQ7     Can wastewater be treated to make it into drinking water?

Yes, it can be done but at an exorbitant cost. It is already done in ‘water scarce’ countries like Singapore. In Singapore they call it NEWater.

WQ8    Why does my water sometimes have sand in it?

Routine cleaning of galvanized or cement lined pipes that carry drinking water can stir up material that has settled to the bottom of pipes. This can give your water a temporary sandy appearance.

WQ9    How long can I store drinking water?

Drinking water that is completely disinfected can be stored for 48 hours under room temperature away from direct sunlight in a capped plastic or glass container. Should the water be stored in a refrigerator it may prolong the storage period up to one week.

WQ10  Are the recommended six to eight glasses of water needed each day required to be tap water?

Juice, milk, and soft drinks are almost all water, so they do count towards the required total daily fluid intake. Nutritionists often recommend tap water, however, because some beverages may contain chemicals like caffeine and alcohol that cause one to lose water. On the other hand, tap water does not have these chemicals, so it is safe recommendation, though other non-alcoholic drinks, including caffeine-free soft drinks, are fine. Older people sometimes do not drink enough liquid because      their thirst mechanism is not strong enough. In proportion to body weight, babies   need more fluids than adults. Normally, adults need daily intake of around 3000ml of water.

WQ11  When I am working in the yard, I am tempted to take a drink from my garden hose. Is this safe?

No. A standard garden hose has substances in it to keep it flexible. These chemicals which will get into the water as it goes through the hose, are not good for you.

WQ12  Is it true that tap water quality is getting worse?

It might seem that way from what you read and hear, as chemists are able to identify more contaminants than ever before, but actually the opposite is true. Water suppliers must meet many more rules today than they did a few years ago. In fact, tap water quality is improving, although it is being discussed more nowadays due to the increase of public awareness on drinking water quality.

WQ13  Can I tell if my water is okay by just looking at it, tasting it or smelling it?

No. none of the chemicals that make you sick can be seen, tasted or smelled.

WQ14  Is my drinking water completely free from microbes?

No. However, most microbes are harmless. Drinking water contains harmless microbes.