PETALING JAYA - Leaky, ageing pipes are taking a huge toll on the country, with close to two trillion litres of treated water lost to seepage, poor water quality and frequent disruptions at the consumer end.
And it's going to get worse. Much of the problem lies in the 43,890km of ageing pipes around the country.
Made of asbestos-cement (AC), these pipes were installed in vast numbers decades ago.
They have a lifespan of 30 years and many have outlived their usefulness or are getting there.
Last year alone, nearly two trillion litres of treated water were lost.
The non-revenue water (NRW) was more than a third of all treated water pumped out of plants in 2012 - enough to supply every family in the country with water for 189 days, or fill 797,600 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The leakage forced water operators to pump more through the pipes to meet demand.
"An interruption of water supply for frequent pipe burst and repairs can cause low water pressure for consumers as well as affect water quality," said Malaysian Water Association council member Hairi Basri.