Singapore’s water supply not affected by pollution in Johor River: PUB

Today Online 29 Oct 17;

SINGAPORE – The pollution plaguing the Johor River will not affect the water supply in Singapore despite the temporary disruption in treatment operations at the Johor River Waterworks (JRWW), said national water agency PUB.

In a statement posted on its Facebook page on Sunday (Oct 29), the utilities board said it had stepped up production at the desalination plants and local waterworks to meet local water demand .

“Johor River Waterworks has to temporarily stop treatment operations at 11am on Oct 28 due to pollution in the Johor River with high ammonia levels,” the PUB said.

“The stoppage of treatment operations at JRWW disrupted its supply to Singapore and some parts of Johor.

“Water supply in Singapore will not be affected as PUB had stepped up production at the desalination plants and local waterworks to meet demand.”

The PUB added that it is monitoring the raw water quality in the Johor River and will “resume abstraction and treatment of raw water when the water quality is suitable”.

Malaysian media reported on Sunday that an illegal poultry farm that also makes fertiliser using chicken manure has been found to be the source of ammonia pollution in the Johor River.

The level of pollution forced the temporary shutdown of three water treatment plants since last Friday (Oct 27), and led to water supply disruptions affecting 1.8 million people in Johor Bahru.

This is not the first time the Johor River has been plagued by ammonia pollution. In July last year, the same farm had been partly responsible for another incident that affected the water supply to 600,000 people.

Johor Department of Environment (DoE) director Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh said the poultry farm on the banks of Sungai Sayong, which is a tributary of Johor River, was operating without approval his office.

But any order to close the factory must come from the Johor Veterinary Services Department or the District Land Office, he added.

Dr Ezanni revealed that, based on checks conducted by DoE staff at the farm since the previous case of pollution last year, the factory did not adhere to proper storage techniques for its fertiliser.

"The factory uses manure from the chicken to make fertiliser. Much of the fertiliser is improperly stored. The fertiliser products and chicken manure are stacked and exposed to the elements,” he said.

"When it rains, the water soaks these items and the water seeps into the ground and flows into the river. This leads to the high content of ammonia in the river.”

The PUB added that it is monitoring the raw water quality in the Johor River and will “resume abstraction and treatment of raw water when the water quality is suitable”.

Malaysian media reported on Sunday that an illegal poultry farm that also makes fertiliser using chicken manure has been found to be the source of ammonia pollution in the Johor River.

The level of pollution forced the temporary shutdown of three water treatment plants since Friday (Oct 27), and led to water supply disruptions affecting 1.8 million people in Johor Bahru.

This is not the first time the Johor River is plagued by ammonia pollution. In July last year, the same farm had been partly responsible for another incident that affected the water supply to 600,000 people.

Johor Department of Environment (DoE) director Datuk Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh said the poultry farm on the banks of Sungai Sayong, which is a tributary of Johor River, was operating without the approval from the state DoE.

He said his department had no jurisdiction over this factory as it rears chicken and, therefore, any order to close must come from the Johor Veterinary Services Department or the District Land Office.

Mr Ezanni revealed that, based on checks conducted by DoE staff at the farm since the previous case of pollution last year, the factory did not adhere to proper storage techniques for its fertiliser.

"The factory uses manure from the chicken to make fertiliser. Much of the fertiliser is improperly stored. The fertiliser products and chicken manure are stacked and exposed to the elements,” he said.

"When it rains, the water soaks these items and the water seeps into the ground and flows into the river. This leads to the high content of ammonia in the river.”


Water supply in Singapore not affected by pollution in Johor River: PUB
Channel NewsAsia 29 Oct 17;

SINGAPORE: The water supply in Singapore will not be affected by high ammonia levels in the Johor River, Singapore's national water agency PUB said in a Facebook post on Sunday (Oct 29).

Johor River Waterworks had to temporarily stop treatment operations at 11am on Saturday, PUB said.

While the water supply to Singapore and some parts of Johor was affected, PUB has stepped up production at desalination plants and local waterworks to meet demand.

Ammonia levels of 2.75 parts per million were recorded in the raw water on Friday night and three water treatment plants were closed down. Malaysia resident in Johor Baru, Kulai and Kota Tinggi were affected, The Star reported.

The ammonia pollution was traced to a chicken droppings processing factory close to the river.

Malaysia authorities have said that the factory, which uses manure from chickens to manufacture fertilizer, will be closed down.

PUB added that it is monitoring the raw water quality in the Johor River and will resume abstraction and treatment of raw water when the water quality is suitable.


Operations halted at 3 Johor water treatment plants due to high ammonia levels: Report
Channel NewsAsia 28 Oct 17;

JOHOR BARU: Around 1.8 million residents in Johor Baru have been affected by a major water supply disruption, after operations at three water treatment plants were stopped due to high ammonia levels found in their raw water from the Johor River, local media reported on Saturday (Oct 28).

Operations were halted at the Semangar, Johor River and Tai Hong plants on Saturday, the Star Online reported.

Residents in three districts - Johor Baru, Kulai and Kota Tinggi - have been affected and the shutdown may last for up to two days, it added.

Jamaluddin Jamal, head of corporate communications at water supply company SAJ Ranhill Sdn Bhd, told the Star Online that ammonia levels of 2.75 parts per million were recorded in the raw water on Friday night and that levels had not gone down as of Saturday afternoon.

The permitted ammonia level is 1.5 parts per million according to the Star Online.

"Water quality is our priority, thus we decided to halt operations to treat raw water from the river," he told the Star Online. "This is not the first time high levels of ammonia have disrupted water supply. We have recorded three major incidents this year alone."

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