JOHOR BARU: The water quality of Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang here, which is said to be very polluted can still be saved and returned to Class One, says Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) president Prof Dr Ahmad Ismail.
He said it would, however, require the state government, through the relevant authorities, to take immediate action to prevent further pollution in the river.
Industrial effluent and sewage waste are still being discharged into the river, he said.
“This needs to be resolved first. Stop the effluent input that is causing the pollution because as long as pollution is in the river, the problem can never be solved.
“Therefore, the authorities need to refer to the experts to carry out rehabilitation programmes of the river because it is still not too late, ” he said in response to a recent newspaper report on Sungai Kim Kim water quality which is said to be categorised as Class V – the most contaminated and not suitable for use.
Ahmad said the disposal of chemical waste from factories should be done at designated locations only in accordance with existing rules and standard operating procedures.
“Efforts to rehabilitate polluted rivers require high costs and will take a long time, but we must have targets. At the same time, research must continue and Sungai Kim Kim can be a model in future, ” he said.
Johor Department of Environment (DOE) director Mohd Famey Yusoff said the results of laboratory tests on water samples from Sungai Kim Kim depended on the location where the samples were taken as each location would produce different findings.
“There are many factors that can affect the rate of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and ammonia of the water samples taken, including environment, whether it is near industrial areas, housing or public facilities such as markets, as well as the weather, ” he said.
He said Johor DOE carried out sampling six times a year at two locations in Sungai Kim Kim and the findings showed the BOD rate in the affected areas was influenced by organic pollutants and ammonia, which were usually from sewage.
“Therefore, all quarters have to work together, take a stand and play their respective roles in conserving water resources.
“Most important is the cooperation from those responsible for discharging industrial effluent and wastewater into Sungai Kim Kim.
“If the amount of discharge into the river can be reduced, Sungai Kim Kim can be restored, ” said Mohd Famey. — Bernama