Odour pollution in rivers ‘quite common’ in Selangor, says minister

Temporary closure of several water treatment plants affected 1,133 areas and 1,166,842 consumers in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat. (Bernama pic)

PORT DICKSON: Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Xavier Jeyakumar revealed today that incidences of odour pollution in treated water is “quite common”.

He added that an investigation team had been sent to Batang Kali as it could be the source of the pollution which flowed into Sungai Selangor.

“This type of odour pollution in rivers is quite common in Selangor.

“They have found that the pollution started somewhere in Batang Kali area. The investigation team has gone down to investigate the area and I will get the report later,” Jeyakumar said, when met on the sidelines of PKR’s party retreat here.

He explained it was difficult to monitor the culprits polluting the Sungai Selangor.

Jeyakumar added there were adequate legal provisions to take action and jail the culprits responsible.

Xavier Jeyakumar.

“Under SPAN, the laws are very tight. I can even send someone to prison for life if he or she poisons the river feeding a water treatment plant,” he said, referring to the National Water Services Commission.

Yesterday, thousands of homes experienced water cuts after odour pollution was detected at three locations.

This led to the temporary closure of several water treatment plants, affecting 1,133 areas and 1,166,842 consumers in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling, Klang, Shah Alam, Kuala Selangor, Hulu Selangor, Gombak and Kuala Langat.

A “code red” emergency was then proclaimed, with the Selangor state government, SPAN and state disaster unit notified.

Earlier today, Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) said it had resolved the water disruption caused by odour pollution at the Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the Sungai Selangor water treatment plants and Rantau Panjang water treatment plant.