Malaysia: High concentration of heavy metals in Kuantan river

The Star 23 Nov 16;

KUANTAN: The Department of Environment (DOE) has discovered a high concentration of heavy metals in the river water at the bauxite mining area here.

According to the Auditor-General’s Report 2015 (Series 2), the analysis of samples based on three parameters – heavy iron metal, mercury and aluminium – at nine locations in Sungai Riau, Mabok, Penang, Kuantan and Kuala Sungai Karang found that the water had exceeded the National Water Quality Standard For Malaysia.

“The highest parameter for aluminium was 7.3mg/L in Sungai Kuantan in February 2016, while the highest parameter for iron was 10.32mg/L in Sungai Riau in August 2015,” said the report.

However, for mercury, the report showed no elevated level after August last year in all the locations.

The audit report stated that the chemical analysis on aluminium at Sungai Taweh and Sungai Rong also exceeded those standards, namely 1.5mg/L and 0.96mg/L, respectively.

“The results of the chemical analysis exceeded the standard of Group IV (0.5mg/L) of the National Water Quality Standard for Malaysia.

Subsequently, in March, the DOE conducted another inspection at Sungai Taweh and found the aluminium parameter also exceeded the standard,” the report said.

It also said the DOE’s schematic sketch map showed that the bauxite laundering activities near Sungai Taweh and Sungai Rong will contaminate the river water which flows into the Bukit Sagu and Bukit Goh water treatment plants.

As such, the report said the Land and Mines office and the Department of Mineral and Geosciences will control the deposition pool so that it will not overflow into Sungai Taweh by draining the water and covering the pool with soil.

The report, however, mentioned that the pool had yet to be shut down. — Bernama

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