Respect ALL Neighbours – Pantai Hill Resort braces for tough times

Serenity Sanctuary

Serenity Sanctuary… a breathtaking hideout – for spiritual retreat and quiet quality time while respecting the  privacy and peace of residents – Is it true? or mere Advertising talk?

Pantai Hill births another newly branded resort and wonders if they would be kind to her.

Serenity Sanctuary made its debut earlier this year, rising from the shadows of Shorea’s spill over guests. Their new website vision speaks highly of – space – quiet – privacy – comfort – mother nature. They also have guidelines for guests – emphasizing peaceful quality time for families and respecting the peace of other residents.

This is good news. BUT only if these advertising words were truly practiced.

Recent feedback from Serenity Sanctuary’s immediate neighbours paints a different picture.

This article is not interested to re-count those incidents of ‘bad taste’, but rather would like to comment on the responsibility of all lot owners of Pantai Hill Resort.

As the years unfold, it seems inevitable that more ‘resorts’ would be birthed on Pantai Hill. This kind of ‘wild organic growth’ of resorts is unsustainable for obvious reasons. At the moment the frenzy is for a – first mover advantage – get good returns on my money – beat off complaining residents as long as possible – worry about consequences later. This is the mentality that drives economic activity on Pantai Hill.

Haven’t we all seen this before? Is it not the pronounced ‘Service-to-Self’ attitude that ultimately destroys the very place that feeds it? Janda Baik is an example of such a place – development without an emphatic connection to its carrying capacity and neighbours – has made it loose its luster.

Pantai Hill’s ‘Carrying Capacity’ and the social cohesion between residents and resort operators are two very important issues we must ALL address moving forward. We don’t live alone and we cannot benefit ourselves at the expense of others, for whenever such an imbalance happens, the laws of the universe will always want to reset it. (in whatever shape and form)

We may make golden hay today, but if we do not come together and co-operate for a better future, soon there may not be much golden hay left to make.

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The Dusun – Successfully Taps JBA Water up Pantai Hill

Pantai Hill Resort water wars have eased slightly with the responsible and considerate approach The Dusun has taken. Together with the positive response SAINS (Syarikat Air Negeri Sembilan) has given, it paves the way for other resorts to follow a similar path and ease the burden on the Pantai Hill water tank.

This is how The Dusun experienced it:

SAINS helps out with a new pipe to overcome water tapping difficulties.

SAINS helps out with a new pipe to overcome water tapping difficulties.

 

In the ongoing water saga, there is one happy ending.

Two weeks ago, we made a successful application to tap into the Jabatan Berkalan Air (JBA) water pipe, which runs down Jalan Gunung. We are lucky to have land only a few meters from this pipe. David and Cee built a pump house, put in a large tank and installed the electric wiring and pipes needed to bring the water up to the top of our property. It cost a lot.

But there was no water! The JBA pipe was designed to serve Pantai town and other users way down the road. In the drought, the amount of water was so small and rushed by so fast, that it would not lift up into our tank.

Cee appealed to SAINS and met with one of their senior officers. Their attitude is that everyone has a right to water and it is their job to get it. They came to the site. They talked over the options. They explained (apologetically) that a solution might take 3 days. “Oh, that’s OK” says Cee.

Yesterday, a big gang came with a digger. They dug up the pipe, installed a valve, and we have water. So do Vijay and Prema and probably Mr Chong, Mr Kok and his neighbors a bit further down the road.

The responsiveness of SAINS is a very hopeful sign for the future. If the Pantai Hills community could get together and make the need here known to SAINS, it should be possible to design a system to bring water directly from the Loji to Pantai Hill’s users in a dedicated pipe. Issues of cost would have to be worked out with them.

Caveat: The Dusun will continue to tap water from our inlet in the jungle, as we have done for 30 years. SAINS water has to be paid for and will be for our houses and guests. We will no longer need to use water from the Pantai Hill’s reservoir but Cee and Haanim’s house on Lot 59 will keep their link in place for emergencies.

Pantai Hill Resort – Water Contamination

e-coli bacteria

e-coli bacteria

Ever since more residents and resorts arrived at Pantai Hill, water has become a scarce resource during the dry months. This year, weather has been rather wet and yet this ‘water shortage’ problem has reared its ugly head. We were quite surprised and have concluded the obvious, that more water is being used on the hill and the incoming source cannot cope with demand during these periods. This has become Pantai Hill’s annual water wars talked about in the previous article.

Adding more drama into the mix, Pantai Hill pioneer resort The Dusun – has tested the water from two sources – one from the jungle source and another from the water tank (Pantai Hill reservoir) and both have coliform bacteria levels that are unsafe to drink – according to the labs. Below is how The Dusun describes it:

For some time, David and I felt our water tasted “different”; not as good as before. So we had it tested – as it came out of the tap in Cee’s house on Lot 59. Water to Lot 59 comes from the Pantai Hill’s reservoir. The report from the BACFREE lab in Subang came back with a Coliform Count (Bacteria) of 20. The required coliform count for drinking water is zero; none whatever is allowed.

We have always filtered our drinking water – we have an RO system, which filters water from the pipe into water jars for drinking. This water comes from the Dusun water inlet in the jungle stream, not from the reservoir. So we sent water samples from before going into the filter and after it came out to Pathlab in Seremban. The results of both samples were the same. “Heavy growth of gram negative bacilli.” So both sources of water – from the reservoir and from the jungle stream – are contaminated.

20 parts per 100 milliliters is quite low. The standard for showers and swimming pools is less than 200. But for drinking water it should be zero.

Gram negative bacilli, coliform bacteria and e-coli bacteria mean much the same thing. The coliform count indicates the amount of fecal matter in the water. This can come from animal or human shit and even from plants and soil. The layer of mud in the reservoir could be one cause. Or animals and birds defecating in the stream which feeds it.

Scientists measure e-coli as an “indicator” for other more serious pathogens, also found in faeces, which are harder to test. According to the Business Dictionary (Google), “coliform bacteria are a group of gram negative bacteria (of which the most common is e-coli) found in the intestinal tract (and therefore in faeces) of humans and other animals. These rod-shaped microorganisms aid in digestion and are largely harmless. However, if ingested through contaminated food or water, they may cause bacterial or viral gastroenteritis, hepatitis A, typhoid fever or other complications.

The usual filter systems do not remove bacteria. The only solution is ultra violet or ozone treatment of the water. These devices, which kill all bacteria, can be bought in Seremban.

Since receiving this report The Dusun has stopped using Pantai Hill’s water for drinking. We buy 5 gallon bottles from an RO supplier in Seremban and each house has a water dispenser with a bottle on it. So this is SAINS water (treated) put through the reverse osmosis filters. It is hard work – we have to make several trips a week to change the bottles. Long term, we are hoping to get our water supply from SAINS.

Pantai Hill Resort – Water Wars

Water tank zero

Pantai Hill Resort water tank totally empty

Dear visitors and resort guests, we would like to share with you a recent incident involving water supply on Pantai Hill – how some residents and the 4 resorts (The Shorea, Cabinzcottage, The Dusun and Awanmulan) behaved in view of this recent water shortage event.

First, a bit of background – Pantai Hill Resort draws its water from a creek near the top of the hill. It is then stored in a big tank supposedly enough to supply to about 80 homes. However, the volume of this in-coming water varies with the weather patterns and does not allow adequate water supply all year round.

We currently have 24 homes on the hill, out of which 7 are used for resort operations. The tank water is suppose to feed 80 homes, but even at current numbers (24) we already have problems. Put in another way, occupancy rate based on lots available (inside Pantai Hill Resort gated community) is only 30% and yet there is already water shortage problems during certain months.

Out of the 24 homes, only 4 homes have residents who permanently live on the hill. These 4 homes have a total of only 9 people. If the average water usage in a household per person is 220 liters/day (Malaysian usage, highest in SE Asia) – 9 permanent residents would use an average of 1980 liters/day.

Assuming the water tank holds about 500,000 liters when full and the recent emptying of the water tank took 10 days to happen from one quarter level of tank (ie. 125,000 liters and no new water flows in). The 9 permanent residents would use 19,800 liters in 10 days, representing 16% total of water usage.

This implies that 84% of tank water is predominantly used by and for construction activities, resort operations, resort guests, visitors and visiting residents.

Now back to the story…

10 days ago, we (permanent residents the 16%) sent out 4 emails cautioning non-permanent residents and resort operators that the water level in the tank was getting critically low. Yesterday water went totally empty. These were the replies several days before water was completely emptied:

From users who make up 84% of tank water usage:

1. Non-permanent residents: ALL were silent as usual (except for Chandran and Julliet who offered to alert her contractor and for them to conserve water over this period)

2. Awanmulan: “We better pray…” (resort continued operations with no compromise)

3. Cabinzcottage: “So!….i’ve got my own water line wat?!” (resort continued operations with no compromise)

4. The Shorea: They remained silent and went on to operate an on-site concrete mixer for 2 days non-stop at the peak of this water crisis. (resort continued operations with no compromise)

5. The Dusun: “The Dusun will not be using water from the Pantai Hills reservoir as of tomorrow afternoon. We will arrange alternative source until this water crisis is over.”

(People with their own lines (from the same source) do not lift much burden from the Pantai Hill Tank, because they still use the main tank water until it runs out before switching over to their reserve lines. The only effective way is like The Dusun’s example – stopping usage and arranging alternative sources)

From users who make-up 16% of tank water usage:

1.. Permanent resident Rafi: “I have cancelled my hari raya celebrations this saturday and informed my guests..”


So, dear Pantai Hill visitors and resort guests. The summary above gives you an idea of the water shortage problem on the hill and also how much empathy and foresight each individual and resorts have for permanent residents of Pantai Hill.

Please choose your resorts carefully and please do not support ones who blatantly ignore and exclude themselves from communal hill responsibilities especially – if they are a core contributor to the 84%….at the expense of the 16%.

The story of ‘WATER’ is a major one. It doesn’t end here. More to come.