FOR FIGHTING PEAT FIRE: Construction work expected to start in May.
JOHOR BARU: THE state Minerals and Geoscience Department (MGD) will build its second tube well in Kampung Lepau, Pengerang, in addition to the first one that was built last year to help the Fire and Rescue Services Department put out peat soil fire.
Its director, Shahar Effendi Abdullah Azizi, said that the tube well of about 100 metres deep would have water that firemen can use to battle the flames when a fire breaks out.
"However, the real depth to be dug will depend on the geology profile of the drilling area. We are looking into an aquifer (underground layer of water-bearing rock) in alluvium (sands and gravel layer) and fractured hardrock (rock layer that contains water)," he said in an e-mailed statement.
"In Johor, underground water is often found inside a hardrock aquifer."
Shahar said the construction work of the tube well is expected to start in May.
He said the optimum yield will be determined once the drilling starts based on the geological profile and the condition of the aquifer at the site.
"The current tube well in Kampung Lepau has an optimum yield of about 18,927 litres per hour, or 454,249 litres daily."
He said the water distribution would depend on the drainage and irrigation system at the area.
"For example, when peat land catches fire, water distribution will be carried out along the ditch near the tube well of the affected area. A check dam (a dam to reduce the gradient of a ditch), could be built inside the ditch to increase the water level for the firemen to use in times of an emergency," he said.
The Fire and Rescue Services Department could also have their water hose extended to the affected peat soil area from the tube well.
"Our hydrogeology expert has estimated that each tube well is practically able to cover up to one square kilometre," he said.
The tube well will be in operation after the construction is completed, and a request for water pump has been approved.
"Approval will be granted under a standard operating procedure of the National Level Fire Prevention and Peatland Management Implementation Standardisation Committee," he said, adding that the MGD is a committee member of National Level Fire Prevention and Peatland Management.
He said that other districts like Muar, Batu Pahat and Mersing will also be getting new tube wells.
"The department is ready to contribute by building a tube well to prevent peatland fire. Based on our record last year, the underground water source has successfully reduced the number of peatland fire case by 50 per cent in comparison to the previous years," he said, adding that this has prompted the department to build more tube wells.
"Besides serving the purpose of putting out fires, the water from the tube well could be used during a prolonged drought in times of a water crisis. This is because, the underground water source will be less affected during drought in comparison to the water source at the river surface."
However, if the water was to be used as a drinking source, then it needed to be treated in accordance with the Drinking Water Standard stipulated by the Health Ministry.
Source : http://www.nst.com.my/
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