JOHOR BARU: Syarikat Air Johor (SAJ) has been reminded to constantly monitor the quality of water in the state to prevent contamination of the state’s water supply due to old and faulty pipes.
Skudai assemblyman Dr Boo Cheng Hau said that this was important following a major selenium contamination which affected about 50,000 residents in Taman Ungku Tun Aminah in February.
“I personally sent a sample for testing and discovered the salenium was four times more than the permitted level on Feb 23,” he said here recently.
Dr Boo added that SAJ only acted based on his complaint and carried out repair and cleaning works for one week before resuming water supply.
He added that he was told that there was soil contamination due to a burst pipe in Jalan Hulubalang 1.
He hoped that SAJ would carry out regular maintenance and replace the old pipes in the area.
It is learnt that in high concentrations, selenium acts as an environmental contaminant. Sources of pollution include waste materials from certain mining, agricultural, petrochemical, and industrial manufacturing operations.
There are also health effects if exposed to too much selenium as in the short term it can cause hair and fingernail changes, damage to the peripheral nervous system, fatigue and irritability.
In the long-term, it can cause hair and fingernail loss; damage to kidney and liver tissue, and the nervous and circulatory systems.
Meanwhile, SAJ Holdings Bhd corporate communication chief Jamaluddin Jamil when contacted assured that the company only channelled water which was safe for consumers via its 20,000km network of pipes statewide.
“We have also written to Dr Boo about this matter as our records show that there was no such contamination on that day,” he said, adding that SAJ also carried out daily water testing to ensure quality and safety to all its customers.
Asked about contamination due to old, damaged or burst pipes, he said that there was a possibility but it was not frequent.