Malaysia: Sg Semenyih pollution crisis -- Tests reveal presence of poison

FERNANDO FONG New Straits Times 27 Oct 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor executive councillor for Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Elizabeth Wong said the pollution level of Sungai Buah, Negri Sembilan, remains critical.

She said water samples taken from the river, which flows into the Sungai Semenyih Water Treatment Plant, contains the toxic 4-bromodiphenyl etherwater.

“We have already received expert advice on the content of the poison,” Wong told reporters when met at the Parliament lobby here today.

"The water samples emit an unpleasant odour with a Threshold Odour Number (TON) of four, which means the water must be treated,” Wong said, adding that dead fish were also found in the water where the samples were taken.

TON is the dilution ratio at which odour is detectable. "The water samples were submitted to the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar,” said the Bukit Lanjan assemblyman, adding that the Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, has been notified about it.

Additionally, a police report was also made on Sunday. "Presently, the water is being pumped out into retention ponds to prevent it from contaminating the water supply for public use,” she added.

Previously, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali said that five meter-high walls will be built by Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd at Sungai Buah to block the flow of polluted water into Sungai Semenyih.

The move is to ensure that the Sungai Semenyih Water Treatment Plant can operate as usual. Azmin noted that the pollution had interrupted water supply to 360,000 account holders in Selangor.


Sungai Buah still contaminated and poses serious health threat
MARTIN CARVALHO The Star 27 Oct 16;

KUALA LUMPUR: Sungai Buah in Nilai which flows into Sungai Semenyih is still contaminated with a highly poisonous substance, 4-Bromo Diphenyl Ether, forcing the Selangor government to disrupt water supply for the third time this month.

"It is highly poisonous and that is why dead fish were found floating nearby," said Elizabeth Wong, executive councillor for tourism, environment, green technology and consumer affairs.

She said the contamination posed a serious health threat and the source of the contamination was a drainage system in Sungai Buah in Nilai, Negri Sembilan which flowed into Sungai Semenyih.

"It is not the smell that is the only concern but the pollutant which is causing it.

"Analysis by the Selangor Water Management Board (Luas) identified the substance as 4-Bromo Diphenyl Ether,” Wong told reporters after attending a Special Chambers proceedings in Parliament here.

She said water samples taken from Sungai Buah still emit a strong smell which had to be diluted four times for it to be odour free while water at the source of contamination in Nilai had to be diluted 20 times.

Wong said the pollutant is suspected to have been deliberately dumped into the drainage system near the Elite Highway.

She said the Selangor government had requested the Department of Environment (DOE) in Negri Sembilan to pump out the contaminated water from the river there and store it in bunds.

"The water is not to be used but will be stored at the bunds and treated with enzymes," she said.

Wong said Luas lodged a police report last Sunday on alleged sabotage of the water supply and handed over a sample of the water to the federal DOE.

The Sungai Semenyih Water Treatment Plant was forced to close temporarily on several occasions since September following contamination at Sungai Semenyih.

Sources of the pollution had been identified to come from an industrial site in Semenyih, including Sungai Langat, which gets water from Pahang.

The closures caused water disruptions that have affected over a million residents in the Klang Valley.


Water supply to USJ, Puchong to be fully restored by Oct 29
The Star 27 Oct 16;

PETALING JAYA: Water supply to USJ and Bandar Puteri Puchong areas will be fully restored by Oct 29, says Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas).

It said relief water supply will continue to be delivered by 14 water tankers and supported by four jumbo water tankers at filling stations in the two areas.

An additional six water tankers will be mobilized on Oct 28.

Syabas said in a statement on Thursday that several areas in USJ, Subang Jaya, Bandar Puteri Puchong and Puchong have been experiencing water disruptions since Oct 24 following a 30-hour shutdown of the Semenyih water treatment plant “due to odour pollution” in Sungai Buah in Nilai which flows into Sungai Semenyih.

“When the water treatment plant resumed operations, demand for water increased four folds to fill up service reservoirs, premises’ storage tanks, distribution pipes and ‘panic’ storage by consumers,” said Syabas.

It said water supply for USJ and Bandar Puteri Puchong under Zone 2 will be extended and restored in stages.

The Kuala Langat and Sepang Districts under Zone 2 have fully recovered, while the Zone 2 in Hulu Langat and Petaling Districts registered 98% and 80% recovery.

The public can receive updates from Syabas by using the “mySYABAS” mobile application, or by visiting their website at ww.syabas.com.my.

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