No escape for culprit behind river discolouration

  • Metro News
  • Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020

Hee (right) and Nor Aziah (third from right) visiting booths at the World Ozone Day 2020 celebration at Kolej Profesional Mara in Beranang. 

INVESTIGATIONS are underway to find the culprit behind the discolouration of Sungai Gong in Rawang.

“Water samples have been sent to the Chemistry Department for testing after the situation was detected on Saturday and we are awaiting results.

“As such there is nothing new to say at this point, ” said Selangor environment, green technology, science, technology and innovation and consumer affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian after launching a state-level two-day World Ozone Day 2020 celebration at Kolej Profesional Mara in Beranang, Hulu Langat, yesterday.

It was reported that the river water discoloration did not lead to any water treatment plant shutting down.

The odourless discolouration is suspected to have been caused by dyes.

Further investigations also found that the discharge of the foamy and coloured effluent was from Indah Water Konsortium’s (IWK) GBK 134 Area 5 sewage treatment plant in Rawang Industrial Area.

However, IWK denied this and was reported saying the real cause was probably due to illegal dumping of waste.

Hee said the public must always be aware of the environment and care for it, including reducing the use of single-use plastic bags.

“From January to June this year, we collected about RM1.1mil in plastic bag charges in the state.

“Our initial estimation was RM2.5mil to be collected for the first six months of this year from sale of plastic bags, but due to the movement control order, the amount is lower.”

He said business premises were required to give the 20sen charges to their respective local councils.

“Local councils will then hand over 60% of the total collection to the state and keep the remaining 40%.

“All proceeds will be used for environment-related activities.

“Currently, there are many business premises that are yet to register for this programme.

“Many still seem to be in the dark about it.

“So far, most of the participating outlets are supermarkets, ” he elaborated.

“Starting from next year, we are looking into making this compulsory by adding a clause in the business licence to compel operators to comply and participate, ” said Hee.

He explained that Selangor expected to collect about RM5mil yearly but hoped this figure would reduce with less use of plastic bags.

“If the total amount collected reduces then it is a good sign that the programme is working.

“I urge all to reduce the use of plastic bags, ” he added.

At the World Ozone Day 2020 celebration organised by Selangor Environment Department, Hee urged air-conditioner manufacturers and others in the industry to use new technology to protect the ozone layer.

“For example, gas is released when servicing air-conditioners and there is now a new technology that allows for the released gas to be trapped in a device and later reused.

“This gadget is already in the market and I hope those involved will use it, be it for servicing home units, in vehicles or factories, ” he said.

Also present at the event was Selangor Environment Department director Nor Aziah Jaafar.

Nor Aziah said such events were important to raise awareness and remind people about the importance of protecting the ozone layer.

“This year, we decided on Sungai Tekala Recreational Forest for our Ozone Day celebration on the second day so that we can all enjoy its beauty, fresh air and clean water, ” she said.

She said the event was also aimed at educating the public on protecting the ozone layer through air-conditioning demonstrations and sharing of latest technologies.

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