SHAH ALAM, Oct 21 — The Selangor state government has outlined several long- and short-term measures to overcome river pollution problems that have caused water supply disruption to be rampant recently.
Selangor Menteri Besar Dato’ Seri Amirudin Shari said the short-term measures include increasing enforcement at the two vital rivers, namely Sungai Langat and Sungai Selangor, that serve as water sources for the state.
Suggestions have been made to the Selangor Water Management Board and Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) to add around 20 enforcement personnel to patrol both rivers.
“In addition, the state government will also use drone technology to monitor and analyse water quality. The drones will also determine if factories near the rivers are able to contaminate any part of the 1,000km stretch of the rivers,” he told a media conference today.
In the long term, the state government is considering the use of several technologies that can eliminate odour pollution at the river and the water treatment plant (WTP) to avoid a shutdown.
In addition, the state government is also considering building barriers to stop contaminated water from entering the WTP and using the water supply from the Hybrid Off River Augmentation System (HORAS) 600 as a replacement, Amirudin said.
He cautioned that the long-term measures might take some time to achieve as the cost could reach several hundred million ringgit.
While discussions would be held regarding demands by affected consumers asking for a discount for their Air Selangor bills due to the water disruption, Amirudin said that the state government felt that the total bill paid would be better used on enforcement and monitoring of the rivers in the state.
“Based on calculations, if a discount of RM2 is given to each Air Selangor account holder, it will involve around RM4 million. The money is better used by Air Selangor to improve its ability to provide better services to the consumers,” he said, adding that eight cases of water pollution had occurred so far this year.
Touching on criticism by certain parties following the frequent water disruptions in the state, Amirudin said he remained positive in finding solutions to the problem.
“We need to remain calm and solve the issue. Do not simply assign blame and spew conspiracy theories because it will just rile up the public,” he said.
On Monday, a total of 1,196,457 Air Selangor account holders involving 1,292 areas in the Klang Valley faced unscheduled water disruptions after four Sungai Selangor WTPs ceased operations due to water pollution.