Pressure on water treatment plants


  • Nation
  • Friday, 06 Jun 2003

BY LEONG SHEN-LI

KUALA LUMPUR: Increasing river pollution has resulted in water treatment plants in Selangor and the Federal Territory having to shut down more frequently, causing more cases of water supply disruption, the Malaysian Water Association said. 

Statistics revealed by the association showed that there were 94 cases of water treatment plants having to shut down in the first four months of this year, with turbidity, or heavy silting, being the reason for 90 of those cases. 

“This is already more than half the total number of shutdowns last year which stood at 175 cases,” said MWA deputy president Tan Sri Rozali Ismail in his paper “Future Direction of Water Management in Malaysia.” 

His paper was read out by Puncak Niaga Holdings Bhd executive director of project and business development Lee Miang Koi at a colloquim “Sustainable Water Management and the Media,” which was organised by the Malaysian Centre for Environmental Communicators in conjunction with World Environment Day yesterday. 

Rozali, who is also Puncak Niaga executive chairman, said since 1997, more than 700 cases of shutdowns had occurred at the 28 water treatment plants which is managed by his company. 

“Of these, turbidity was the reason for more than 600 of them,” he said. The other reasons for the disruption of operations were the presence of ammonia, oil or diesel, smell, or other chemicals in the raw water. 

High turbidity or colour is caused by mud in the water and this is caused by land clearing and deforestation. Ammonia is caused by the presence of waste in the water, while the others are largely caused by industrial waste being washed into the river.  

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