Best of our wild blogs: 29 Oct 16

Birding Kent Ridge Park
Singapore Bird Group

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Malaysia: Sg Semenyih water treatment plant shuts down yet again

P DIVAKARAN The Star 28 Oct 16;

PETALING JAYA: Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) again closed the Sungai Semenyih Water Treatment Plant on Friday afternoon.

The plant ceased operations at 4:15pm when the bund at Sungai Buah in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, the source of the contamination earlier in the week, gave way following a heavy downpour upstream.

The bund had been erected to prevent the poisonous water from flowing into Sungai Semenyih and diverted to a nearby pond.

(The plant, which shut down on Sunday, resumed its operations on Wednesday and supply was expected to resume fully to over a million customers by Saturday.)

“Every effort is being taken to restore the bunds at Sungai Buah immediately and prevent the polluted water from flowing into Sungai Semenyih,” said Syabas Corporate Communications head Amin Lin Abdullah said in a statement Friday.

Amin said all areas in Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat, Sepang and Petaling Districts will experience temporary water disruption until the water treatment plant resumes operations.

He said relief water supply would continue to be sent by water tankers to affected areas and critical premises, namely hospitals and dialysis centres, until water supply is restored.

It also said that the existing water schedule for Zones 1 and 2 is no longer valid.

Water supply is available at public water standpipes at the following locations:

PETALING: Bangunan Eon Bank, Jalan Bandar 1, Pusat Bandar Puchong; In front of Lake Edge, Persiaran Setia, Bandar Metro; In front of Enggang apartments, Jalan Kinrara 6F, Bandar Kinrara, Puchong; In front of Bosnia Flat, Jalan Raya 7/1, Taman Serdang Jaya; In front of the Rumah Pam Perindustrian Bukit Serdang, Jalan PBS 14/1, Perindustrian Bukit Serdang; Road Side of Jalan USJ 3/1h USJ3; Service Centre TP2 Taman Perindustrian Subang UEP and Road Side of Jalan USJ3A/1.

SEPANG: Dengkil Town (Market); Dengkil (Taman Gemilang Community Hall); Sungai Pelik (Taman Murni) and Salak Tinggi (Near Jumbo Water Tanker Station).

KUALA LANGAT: Jalan Keli, Taman Sri Putra; Jalan Sempadan Kachong; Jalan Merak, Bukit 9 Kebun Bharu; Jalan Merbuk, Bukit 9 Kebun Bharu; Simpang Morib and Masjib Banting.

HULU LANGAT: Kajang Utama (Jalan 3/13, Kajang Utama); Taman Sri Mewah ( Jalan Sri Mewah, Taman Sri Mewah); Taman Tropika, Sungai Tangkas (Jalan Bestari – depan Balai Polis Sungai Tangkas); Apartment Green Villa, Sungai Tangkas (Jalan Bestari, Sungai Tangkas – in front of Green Villa apartment); Bandar Teknoloji Kajang (Persiaran Hill Park, taman Hill Park); and Bandar Sunway Semenyih (Persimpangan Taman Desa Mewah - Sunway Semenyih).

Water supply is also available at the following Jumbo Water Tanker Stations:

Petaling: USJ 4/5; Taman Wawasan Puchong Recycle Centre and Jalan BS 5/28 Bukit Serdang.

Hulu Langat: Jalan Kesuma 3 Junction, Bandar Tasik Kesuma and Jalan Bandar Tasik Kesuma.

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

Sources of 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.

Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant resumes operations
The Star 29 Oct 16;

PETALING JAYA: The Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant is back in operation, says Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas).

“The plant is back in operation and we have started to channel treated water to the reservoirs in stages since 3.15am,” it said on Facebook, Saturday.

It said Syabas had mobilised water tankers, activated jumbo tanker stations and public water standpipes to help those affected while waiting for water supply to recover.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and are working to accelerate the recovery process,” it said.

The plant had ceased operations at 4.15pm on Friday when the bund at Sungai Buah in Nilai, Negri Sembilan, the source of the contamination earlier in the week, gave way following a heavy downpour upstream.

Syabas urged the public to avoid congesting its hotline and to seek updated information via its website, mysyabas app, puspel syabas or air selangor Facebook page.

The public can also request for water tankers via sms by sending: tanker to 15300

Advanced technology seen as long-term solution to raw water contamination

KUALA LUMPUR: The use of advanced water treatment technology can serve as a long-term solution in addressing the issue of raw water contamination.

Water quality and modeling expert Dr Zaki Zainuddin said the technology which had been adopted by Singapore had proven to be effective in treating raw water as compared with the conventional treatment methods used in this country.

He said the use of such technology would also be able to provide a better quality water supply to consumers, thus avoiding recurrence of water supply disruption following the closure of water treatment plants (WTP).

“The current method being used is not outdated, even developed countries like the United States are still using the same technology but the control aspect of river basin areas there is better than in Malaysia, thus reducing the risk of contamination and disposal of industrial waste into water resources.

“However, the cost of using the most advanced water treatment technology is quite high and certainly has its own implications such as the increase in water tariff to cover the expenses incurred for that purpose,” he said.

Zaki was asked to comment on the fourth closure of the Sungai Semenyih WTP, Selangor within two months following odour pollution of the river water, believed to have originated from an industrial area in Nilai, Negri Sembilan.

The first two shutdowns occurred on Sept 22 and Sept 23 while the third was on Oct 4 due to the pollution which had caused disruptions in water supply in the Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat, Petaling and Sepang districts.

Zaki said a more economical approach such as using water resources from the upper reaches of the river which was more clean and free of contamination could also help reduce the risk of raw water contamination supplied to WTPs.

He said most of WTPs in the country had been using water resources in the lower reaches of the river, whereby their surrounding areas were rapidly being developed, thus affecting the quality of the river water there.

“However, there are some parties rejecting this proposal by claiming that the upstream river areas are quite far to access and to supply water to WTPs,” he said.

Senior lecturer at the Environmental Studies Faculty of Universiti Putra Malaysia, Dr Mohd Yusoff Ishak said he was confident that academic experts and researchers from the country’s public universities were willing to cooperate to find a solution to the water pollution issue. - Bernama

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Indonesia: No Tax on Plastic Bags Next Year -- Finance Minister

Tabita Diela Jakarta Globe 27 Oct 16;

Jakarta. Indonesia is pulling the brakes on its plastic bag excise, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Thursday (27/10).

"No new excise is going to be imposed in 2017," Sri told reporters at a Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club meeting.

Earlier, the government was planning to tax plastic bags to increase state revenue and reduce plastic consumption.

Indonesia imposes excise on tobacco products, alcoholic beverages and ethyl alcohol to reduce consumption of these products and monitor their circulation.

"There are concerns coming from the parliament and business community, so I will be pragmatic and [say] I will look at them," Sri said.

Despite canceling the plan for the plastic bag tax, the government's newly passed 2017 state budget mandates a higher revenue from excise.

The Finance Ministry's directorate general of customs and excise aims to collect Rp 157.2 trillion ($12 billion) for the state coffers next year, 6.1 percent more than it planned to collect this year.

The government has so far collected Rp 81.9 trillion in excise this year, or 56 percent of the 2016 revised state budget target, according to the directorate's website.

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