JOHOR BAHRU, April 24 — The water quality of Sungai Kim Kim in Pasir Gudang here, which is said to be very polluted can endanger the aquatic life, as well as humans, can still be saved and the quality of the river water returned to Class One.
Malaysian Nature Lovers Association (MNS) president Professor Dr Ahmad Ismail said it would however, require the state government, through the relevant authorities, to take immediate action to prevent further pollution in the river.
He said the reason being that pollution is still a problem due to the discharge of industrial effluent and sewage waste into the river.
“The release of industrial effluent and sewage into the river need to be resolved first. Stop the effluent input that is causing the pollution because as long as there is a pollution in the river, the problem can never be solved.
“Therefore, the authorities need to refer to the relevant experts to carry out rehabilitation programme of the river because it is still not too late,” he said when contacted by Bernama.
He said this in response to a recent report in a local newspaper on the water quality of Sungai Kim Kim, which is said to be categorised as Class V which is 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 the existing rules and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
“Malaysia has rules and SOPs that need to be complied with in terms of management and disposal of toxic waste. The authorities must ensure that all toxic waste disposal is in accordance with existing regulations as well as ensure that the level of toxicity is kept to a minimum.
“Efforts to rehabilitate polluted rivers require high costs and will take a long time, but we must have targets or goals. At the same time, research must continue to be conducted and Sungai Kim Kim can be a model in future,” he said.
Meanwhile, Johor Department of Environment (DOE) director Dr Mohd Famey Yusoff, when contacted, said the results of laboratory tests on water samples taken from Sungai Kim Kim depended on the location where the water 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 market, as well as the weather conditions,” he said.
He said the Johor DOE carried out sampling six times a year at two separate locations in Sungai Kim Kim and the findings showed that the BOD rate in the affected areas is influenced by organic pollutants and ammonia which are usually from sewage waste.
“Therefore, all quarters have to work together, take a stand and play their respective role in preserving and 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,” he added.