Water disruption: Factory sealed

Photo courtesy Lembaga Urus Air Selangor

SHAH ALAM – The factory that allegedly caused odour pollution in four Sungai Selangor water treatment plants which had its operation suspended yesterday has been sealed and compounded, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

He said the factory was alleged to have released a solvent into Sungai Gong that flows into Sungai Sembah which feeds off Sungai Selangor.

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“The pollution with the threshold odour number (TON) reading of three has been detected at the intakes of the Sungai Selangor Phase 1, 2, 3 and Rantau Panjang Water Treatment Plants forcing the raw water pumping stations to close their operations.

“Since the incident (odour pollution) was detected, the Selangor Disaster Management Unit, Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) and the Selangor Water Management Authority have taken several actions to expedite resumption of the plants’ operations,” he said in a statement today.

Amirudin said one of the measures was releasing 1,882 million litres of water per day (JLH) from the Hybrid Off River Augmentation System (HORAS 600) alternative pool, the Sungai Selangor dam and the Sungai Tengi dam to dilute the water in Sungai Gong.

In addition, the agencies are flushing the contaminated water downstream of the river through gate three and five at the Sungai Selangor Phase 1 Water Treatment Plant’s intake as well as placing 250 kg of activated carbon at locations where the odour pollution is detected including at the factory.

“The state government’s priority is to ensure that water supply will be fully restored as soon as possible.

“To date, a total of 78 water tankers, 22 jumbo tank trucks and 54 static tanks have been deployed to the affected areas,” he said addding that eight public water taps have also been provided and 23,000 bottles of five-litre drinking water have been distributed to those affected.

A total of 1,292 areas in the Klang Valley, Petaling, Klang/Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat are experiencing unscheduled water supply disruption since yesterday due to pollution at the raw water source.

Earlier, Air Selangor in a statement said the four plants were still not operational as of 6.30 am today.

In KUALA SELANGOR, Environment and Water Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Zaini Ujang said the ministry was prepared to work with the Selangor government to relocate industries located near raw water sources to prevent a recurrence of such incidents.

“The task of shifting factories located near water sources comes under the jurisdiction of the Selangor government. However, what we want to do in the near future is to provide amendments to the Environmental Quality Act 1974 (Act 127) for tabling in Parliament.

“We also want to make sure that any party responsible for polluting rivers, including causing the shutting down of water treatment plants (LRA), be given heavier penalties and punished appropriately,” he told reporters after inspecting the location of the polluted raw water source of Sungai Selangor LRA Phase 1 here today.

He said if the polluting agents at Sungai Gong could be confirmed, action would be taken against the errant premises under Act 127 and the Water Services Industry Act 2006 (Act 655).

— BERNAMA