Malaysia: Toxic solvent dumped into Sungai Buah; No water supply for 320,000 consumers

A 20m bund has been built across Sungai Buah by the authorities to prevent the toxic water from spreading farther

Malaysia's Sungai Buah River has become polluted due to a toxic solvent that has been dumped from an unknown source on its banks, off the Elite Highway, officials say.

It has been reported that the authorities are trying to get the situation under control by building a bund across the river to stop the water from flowing into Sungai Semenyih. They are also figuring out ways to draw out the contaminated water.

According to The Star, the 20m bund has been built across Sungai Buah by the authorities and they are trying to restore treated water supply to thousands of consumers in four districts in Selangor. Moreover, several pumps were brought in to extract the foul-smelling water from the river into tankers and were disposed of in a nearby pond. However, the people who dumped the chemcials that degraded the water that flows into Sungai Semenyih, remain unidentified.

Although the authorities are yet to identify the miscreant, Selangor Water Management Board Authority (Luas) had found traces of the extremely toxic solvent at three spots in the river, across the border to Negri Sembilan, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Azmin Ali said. The solvent was so corrosive that it has charred swathes of green grass by the banks.

"We had no choice but to prevent Sungai Buah from flowing into Sungai Semenyih to restart our water treatment. Our priority now is to ensure the 320,000 account holders get their supply as soon as possible," said Ali , as reported.

Ali also said the Luas employees went to the scene after they were informed about the foul smell on 23 October at around 7.30am.

"While conducting checks, they found the smell at its worst near a section of the river at the north-bound Nilai R&R, along with the North-South Expressway," he said, as reported by The Star.

Picture for representation
Picture for representation Reuters

Several other agencies, like Sepang and , the Drainage and Irrigation Department and Indah Water Konsortium, have been involved in the in the clean-up exercise, along with the water board.