Semenyih River pollution preventable as contaminants visible for years

Ministry identifies the main source to the odour pollution, which is organic waste found at a bush near an industrial area in Negri Sembilan

by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THE Semenyih River pollution is preventable as contaminants along the river and its confluences have been tangible and visible from several years ago, an expert said.

Water quality specialist Dr Zaki Zainudin said a routine water quality reading he took at Pajam River four years ago showed a high level of pollution indication at the upstream of Semenyih River.

At noon yesterday, Semenyih River and Bukit Tampoi water treatment plants have not been operating as the Batang Benar River recorded an 18 TON – pic by BERNAMA

“The incident at Semenyih River can be categorised as illegal dumping which has reported quite a number of pollution cases.

“A water current reading, which is one of the indications of pollution, at the confluence of Pajam River showed a level surpassing the standard of a typically “clean” river.

“The reading was expected to be that way as there are many factors contributing to the issue, such as livestock cultivations, waste dumping and industrial area,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

Latest river pollution case at the river that emerged late on Sunday has affected about 300,000 households in Petaling, Sepang, Hulu Langat and Kuala Langat.

A total of 309,687 consumer accounts in the Petaling, Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat and Sepang districts suffered an unscheduled supply disruption as water treatment plants at Sungai River and Bukit Tampoi were closed due to the pollution.

The disruption came about a month after a similar incident at Selangor River happened in September, affecting 1,292 areas in the Klang Valley, Gombak, Hulu Selangor, Kuala Selangor, Petaling, Klang, Shah Alam and Kuala Langat.

At noon yesterday, Semenyih River and Bukit Tampoi water treatment plants have not been operating as the Batang Benar River recorded an 18 Threshold Odour Number (TON), while Semenyih and Tampoi Rivers recorded 9 TON and 8 TON respectively.

The Environment and Water Ministry (KASA) said it has identified the main source to the odour pollution at Semenyih River which is organic waste found at a bush near an industrial area at Jalan Emas in the Nilai Industrial Estate in Negri Sembilan.

“Authorities had inspected the vicinity along the river and found organic waste which emits bad odour, almost similar to the odour that caused pollution at Semenyih River since yesterday and forced its water treatment plant to stop working,” it said in a statement yesterday.

“The illegal waste is suspected to being managed by an unregistered company and the police investigation, including by the National Water Services Commission and Department of Environment (DoE), will refer to the findings from this area as a secondary source,” it added.

KASA said six soil samples have been taken for examinations by the Department of Chemistry, while the Seremban City Council and the Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corp are expected to be cleaning up the bulk waste at the site by today.

According to the ministry, the area is being closely monitored by the DoE and the police.

“Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd has not been able to restore water services as the odour is still emitted at 7 TON to 8 TON,” it said.