Swift action by LUAS prevents river pollution in Selangor


THE Selangor Water Management Board (LUAS) has opened an investigation paper to take further enforcement action, following the detection of a possible palm oil spill in Sungai Kundang on Friday (March 1) morning.

“LUAS will be carrying out its investigation under Section 79(1) of the LUAS Enactment 1999,” said Selangor public health and environment committee chairman Jamaliah Jamaluddin.

“At the same time, the Selangor Environment Department will also take related enforcement action against the premises believed to be the source of the pollution.”

Jamaliah said during a routine 24-hour patrol, LUAS officers detected traces and odour similar to palm oil in Sungai Kundang, near Rawang, at 11am on Friday.

The agency then activated immediate mitigation measures and comprehensive investigative action, based on the Yellow Code in the Selangor Water Source Pollution Emergency Manual.

“LUAS immediately placed three oil boom units in Sungai Kundang to trap the oil flow and increased the monitoring frequency of Sungai Sembah to every 30 minutes to observe its flow from Sungai Kundang.

“This is because the distance between where the oil was found and the nearest water treatment plant (WTP), which is Rantau Panjang WTP, is around 15.9km away,” she said in a statement

Jamaliah said LUAS’ investigation upstream of the river revealed that the suspected cause of the pollution was a nearby premises manufacturing palm oil based products, based on the discharge flow found in the drain outside its premises.

“The investigation further revealed that workers were carrying out cleaning work at the premises’ final discharge point (before entering the river),” she said.

The incident was due to a failure in the premises’ pump system and suction pump at the final discharge point, which resulted in an overflow into the drain and subsequently Sungai Kundang.

“At the same time, LUAS placed two oil boom units and two bags of activated carbon (totalling 50kg) into the drain outside the premises to ensure the contaminated flow could be deodorised and trapped from flowing to Sungai Kundang.

“LUAS also instructed the premises’ workers to clean and vacuum the contaminated waste in the drain,” she added.

Meanwhile, Jamaliah said LUAS detected trapped oil residue and piles of dead fish as a result of accumulated oil flow at another location, which is at the garbage trap in Sungai Kundang.

“LUAS further ordered the premises to carry out cleaning works at the garbage trap area and along the stretch of Sungai Kundang affected by the oil spill, namely the area near the Kundang cemetery.

“LUAS also placed 11 oil boom units and installed oil mops in the garbage trap, to absorb and trap any oil waste from flowing downstream from Sungai Kundang and into Sungai Panjang WTP intake.”

She said cleaning works at the premises were completed on Friday evening, while cleaning works along the affected stretch of Sungai Kundang, including the garbage trap area, were fully completed by Saturday (March 2) evening.

“LUAS verified the cleanup work at all locations and confirmed an odour reading of 0 TON, with no more oil traces found.

“The agency also observed that no further oil traces were found along Sungai Kundang plus the odour and impact monitoring of Sungai Sembah also recorded a reading of 0 TON,” said Jamaliah

She added that LUAS’ immediate mitigation actions were successful in ensuring there was no risk of closures at Selangor’s main water treatment plants, namely Rantau Panjang, SSP1, SSP2 and SSP3 WTPs.

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