Sibu Water Board (SWB) forked out an additional RM19,000 (119 per cent increase) on water treatment as a result of the debris and muddy water in the river.
Its general manager Daniel Wong said yesterday the bulk of the expenses went towards chemicals to treat the water as well as electricity for operating the plants from Oct 8 to 10.
Wong said during those three days, the nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU) of river water exceeded 3,000.
He revealed that the phenomenon had caused them to drain out or sludge some 17.4 million litres of waste water during the three days as it was not up to the safety mark for drinking.
“From Oct 8 to 10, the cost incurred by treatment plants at Bukit Lima and Salim surged to RM31,910 from the normal RM14,572.
“On average, we are talking about forking out an additional RM6,000 a day (for the three days affected by debris),” Wong told The Borneo Post when asked the cost incurred.
“So you see, the cost has more than doubled,” he added.
The additional cost incurred during this period for the Salim treatment plant was RM12,493 while that of Bukit Lima was RM4,846.
Meanwhile, chemist Ngang Chung Sui said water treatment is a continuous process.
It takes about four hours to treat raw water before it is safe for drinking.
Ngang said the treatment period was also subject to the flow rate of water.
Last Friday, debris stretching for 30km hit Sibu after causing havoc in Kapit a day earlier. It caused disruptions to river transport including ferry services.