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 Community River Cleanup – Letter for new bin

This is the follow up to our recent cleanup at the river dump-site. To prevent future garbage dumps into the river banks by irresponsible resorts on Pantai Hill and residents around Pantai Hill, we have initiated a letter – sanctioned together with the Kampung Baru Pantai village – requesting SWM Environment Sdn Bhd (the company that is contracted to provide garbage bins and garbage collection) to provide a new garbage bin to be located between the Orang Asli village and the SJK Cina Pantai Baru. We hope our request will be given attention soon.

letter for garbage bin

letter of request for new garbage bin between Kampung Baru Pantai an the Orang Asli village

Pantai Hill River Cleanup Report

Pantai Hil River Cleanup graphic

Volunteers of the Pantai Hill Community, cleaning up a dumpsite by river.

> A good start to our first community river dump cleanup project.
> Collected and packed more than 50 large bin bags
> Notable Pantai Hill resort absentees – The Shorea and Awanmulan
> Big Thank You to all who participated
<<View the full report here>>

Pantai Hill Dengue Alert

Dengue - Aedes mosquito

Dengue – Aedes Mosquito

In Malaysia, most people are aware of the Aedes mosquito spreading dengue. It is worth a mention because this (mainly) urban disease has reared its ugly head here – on Pantai Hill Orchard, Seremban

In 2014 and 2015 two families living on different parts of Pantai Hill contracted dengue. Although there were no deaths, we are very concerned with its presence here and would like to alert visitors to Pantai Hill of this problem.

We associate the presence of dengue to the proliferation of trash and indiscriminate dumping of building materials from visitors, workers and increased construction activities on Pantai Hill. This behaviour by Pantai Hill contractors and workers needs to be urgently addressed, before more dengue cases happen on the hill.

The Star newspaper recently published an article on dengue by Dr. Milton Lum – here are its salient points:

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), dengue is the fastest spreading mosquito-bourne viral disease in the world. Its spread has been alarming with an increase from nine affected countries in 1970 to more than 100 countries today.

A study by Brady et al in 2012 estimated that 3.9 billion people in 128 countries are at risk of infection. The surge in dengue has been most marked in Asia which accounts for 75% of the world’s population, with an estimated 1.8 billion people at risk of dengue.

Rapid urbanisation has resulted in millions of people moving to the cities,with insuficient housing and basic infrastructure such as water supply, sewer and waste management, providing ideal conditionsfor the breeding of mosquitoes and dengue transmission.

The description below is highly correlated to what is happening on Pantai Hill.

Negative habits like littering, illegal dumping of garbage, apathy, poor environmental cleanliness and lack of adherence to guidelines in construction sites have to be addressed.

info-graphic on dengue

info-graphic on dengue

Leptospirosis Alert for Pantai Hill Visitors

Leptospirosis rat

This posting comes from a personal experience of leptospirosis in 2014 on Pantai Hill Orchard resort itself. Although i cannot identify or accurately pin where i contracted this disease from on Pantai Hill, i can however reduce its possibilities to a few places: 1. My pond, 2. The river just outside the gates of Pantai Hill 3. Area surrounding my own house in Pantai Hill.

After living here for a few years now, I realise that Pantai Hill is full of jungle rats. (and several species too) Although leptospirosis is not only a rat related disease, but can be carried by other animals too, i post this as a precautionary warning to all visitors of Pantai Hill Orchard. (Please remember that as more trash accumulates on Pantai Hill, due to unchecked and irresponsible behaviour of visitors and workers – it directly promotes a higher rat population on the hill)

Some links to the rising number of Leptospirosis cases in Malaysia:

Number of leptospirosis cases on the rise in the last 5 years
21 Aug 2010 … PETALING JAYA: The number of leptospirosis infections, a rat-borne disease, has been steadily increasing over the last five years. According …

Growing popluation reflected by spike in Leptospirosis cases
1 Jun 2013 … An 85.5% rise in cases of leptospirosis, commonly called the ‘rat urine … to be desired despite Malaysia having some of the best infrastructure.

 Nine Deaths from ‘rat urine disease’
from: The Borneo Post – Online

On precautionary measures, Dr Zulkifli advised members of the public to drink only boiled water and well-cooked food.

As for residents staying near river banks or those depending on rain water as their source of drinking water, they must ensure that the water is properly boiled to kill harmful micro-organisms, he further advised

He pointed out that a person could become infected with leptospirosis by wading in floodwaters contaminated with the urine of rats or other animals such as pigs, cows, dogs, or any wild animals infected by the leptospira bacteria.

“Henceforth, it is crucial to note that in times of flooding, parents must ensure that their children do not play near the drains or wade in floodwaters as they may be contaminated with animals’ urine such as rats,” he said.

Meanwhile, information obtained from the department’s website stated that humans become infected when exposed to water, food, or soil contaminated with urine of infected animals such as rats, cats, dogs, cows, goats, pigs, horses and wild animals.

The Malaysian Health Ministry published this paper in 2011:


Leptospirosis info-graphicBelow are some highlights of the paper:

Leptospirosis is usually a seasonal disease that starts at the onset of the rainy season and declines as the rainfall recedes. Sporadic cases may occur throughout the year with outbreaks associated with extreme changing weather events such as heavy rainfall and flooding

Leptospirosis is also known as “the Great Mimicker” and may be overlooked and underdiagnosed due to its varied clinical presentations.


The conditions that are favourable for maintenance and transmission of Leptospirosis are:

a) Reservoir and carrier hosts Leptospirosis has a very wide range of natural rodent, and non-rodent reservoir hosts especially rats, cattle, dogs, foxes, rabbits, etc. The animals act as carriers of the leptospires and excrete large number of leptospires in their urine, thus responsible for the contamination of large and small water bodies as well as soil.

b) Flooding, drainage congestion Flooding and drainage congestion may be risk factors for contamination of water bodies with infected animal urine. Water logged areas may force rodent population to abandon their burrows and contaminate the stagnant water by their urine.

c) Animal-Human Interface The potential for infection increases through exposure from occupational or recreational activities without proper protection. Poor cleanliness/sanitation in recreational areas may attract animal host such as rodent thus increases the risk of contamination. These may be due to poor maintenance of facilities, improper disposal of waste and public attitude/ apathy.

d) Human host risk factors Several sections of the population are more susceptible to infection such as those not previously exposed to the bacteria in their environment (naïve immunities), and those with chronic disease and open skin wounds.

Infection is acquired from contact through skin, mucosa/ conjunctiva with water or soil contaminated with the urine of rodents, carrier or diseased animals in the environment. Ingestion of contaminated water may also cause infection. There is no documentation of human to human transmission.

Exposure depends on chance contacts between human and infected animals or a contaminated environment through occupational and/or recreational activities. Some groups are at higher risk to contract the disease such as:
• Workers in the agricultural sectors • Sewerage workers • Livestock handlers • Pet shops workers • Military personnel • Search and rescue workers in high risk environment • Disaster relief workers (e.g. during floods) • People involved with outdoor/recreational activities such as water recreational activities, jungle trekking, etc. • Travelers who are not previously exposed to the bacteria in their environment especially those travelers and/or participants in jungle adventure trips or outdoor sport activities • People with chronic disease and open skin wounds.