Probe into beach sewage spill begins

Brief caption: Follow up on sewage leak in Tanjung Bungah beach. (CHARLES MARIASOOSAY/ The Star/04/ March 2016).

THE Penang government has launched an investigation into the beach pollution in Tanjung Bungah.

State Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh said the Department of Environment based in Bayan Lepas had been tasked to probe the matter and would release a report soon.

“Samples need to be collected and tested to see if the discharge is toxic and can affect the biodiversity of the area,” he said when contacted yesterday.

“We need to come up with a proposal and recommendation for contingency and damage control.

“The cause of the discharge, whether intentional or not, will also need to be investigated.

“If it comes from a sewage pipe, the matter will fall under Indah Water Konsortium but if it comes from a drainage pipe, then it will come under the Department of Irrigation and Drainage, and the Penang Island City Council,” he said.

It was reported that environmentalist Saiful Lizan Mohd Yusoff said the murky leakage started two months ago.

Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd senior communications manager Shahrul Nizam Sulaiman said the pipe involved was not a sewage pipe but a drainage pipe.

“Based on our observation, the pipe has nothing to do with sewage. Sewage pipes are usually about three metres under the ground.

“The pipe in question is in a shallow position and the manhole is not covered.

“It could belong to local authorities or other agencies,” he said when contacted.

Council Engineering Department director Addnan Mohd Razali could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, a visit to the site yesterday revealed that the stream of blackish discharge had dried up but empty bottles and rubbish were still there in the uncovered manhole.

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