Luas takes quick action to contain palm oil spill, prevent water disruption

PETALING JAYA: Quick action by the Selangor Water Management Authority (Luas) prevented the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant from shutting down due to pollution on Monday (June 14).

Luas said it had received a report of an oil spill incident involving a crude palm oil factory in Semenyih at 7pm on Monday and oil was detected in the drainage surrounding the premises.

A Yellow Code status was issued based on the Emergency Water Source Contamination Manual for a thorough investigation to be conducted at the site, with Sungai Rinching at risk of being polluted and forcing the closure of the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant.

According to Luas, the distance from the site of the investigation to the entrance of the treatment plant is 15.9km.

“Luas was informed by a representative on the premises that the incident occurred due to a technical problem with the storage tank system. It resulted in an overflow of oil coming out of the processing tank of the plant,” Luas said in a statement on Tuesday (June 15)

It said prevention efforts involved placing four bags of activated carbon powder at the outflow points from the site to prevent contamination at Sungai Rinching.

Luas then continued to monitor the outflow of water to Sungai Rinching, with test results showing that traces of oil had flowed into the river.

“An oil boom was then utilised to minimise the spill and prevent the flow of waste oil from entering Sungai Rinching and on to Sungai Semenyih.

"No trace of oil odour was detected in the raw water source intake.

“The swift action taken on site was able to prevent the stoppage of the water treatment plant and there was no disruption in water supply to consumers.

“The representative of the premises said it had taken initial action by stopping operations and blocking the flow of waste oil,” Luas said.

It added that clean-up works at the premises to prevent overflow are expected to be completed within 24 hours and Luas will continue monitoring Sungai Rinching as well as follow up on the cleaning work carried out so far.

“Based on static monitoring at Sungai Rinching and Sungai Semenyih, as of 5am Tuesday, odour test samples recorded zero TON (threshold odour number) and the flow of the river is normal," it said.

Luas said it will issue a Water Protection Order under Section 122 (1), LUAS Enactment 1999 to the operators involved on the risks and threats of the incident to the quality of water resources.

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