Kajang Municipal Council detects river pollution caused by margarine spill from factory

QUICK thinking by the Kajang Municipal Council (MPKj) to alert the authorities to the release of effluent from a bread factory into the river has spared a possible water cut.

MPKj alerted Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (LUAS) at 12.01am Monday (Oct 4) after detecting a factory at Kampung Baru Balakong releasing several different types effluent into Sungai Balak.

This took place in the wee hours of the night, said Selangor Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Orang Asli Affairs committee chairman Hee Loy Sian in a statement Monday.

The Selangor Environment Department (DOE) took immediate action to prevent the effluent from polluting the river, he added.

Based on investigations by the DOE, the incident was caused by a faulty non-utilised margarine storage tank.

Air Selangor took proactive measures by stopping the operations of the Bukit Tampoi water treatment plant at midnight to avoid a worse impact on the treatment plant.

“Based on the initial reports, LUAS identified the smell of cooking oil at Sungai Balak. Further investigations found oil residue in the river water stream trailing back to the bread factory,” Hee said.

The preventive measures taken included the placement of oil pads and oil boom to prevent the effluent from penetrating further into Sungai Balak.

Water samples were also sent for testing.

Based on investigations conducted by LUAS and Air Selangor, some faint smell of the cooking oil effluent was still detected at Sungai Balak but the water sample results were normal, based on tests carried out at 7am at the Kampung Teras bridge and at 7.30am at Bukit Tampoi.

MPKj has carried out enforcement action by suspending the licence of the factory until cleaning works are completed. The council also issued a compound notice for the relevant offences.

“The Selangor government will not compromise with any parties when a crime related to pollution happens. Strict action would be taken under the LUAS Enactment Act 1999. The punishment could be imprisonment of not more than three years and/or a fine of not less than RM200,000 and not more than RM1mil,” said Hee.

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