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Water supply to Singapore disrupted over ammonia pollution in Johor River

Water supply to Singapore disrupted over ammonia pollution in Johor River

Water pipes running along the Causeway between Singapore and Malaysia. (File photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: The supply of water to Singapore was disrupted after PUB's Johor River Waterworks halted treatment operations due to the high levels of ammonia in the river, Singapore's national water agency said on Thursday (Apr 4).

A spokesman said: “PUB’s waterworks in Johor, the Johor River Waterworks (JRWW), has stopped treatment operations this afternoon due to high ammonia levels found in the Johor River.

“The stoppage of treatment operations at JRWW disrupted its water supply to Singapore and some parts of Johor. Water supply in Singapore is not affected as PUB has stepped up production at the desalination plants and local waterworks to meet demand. 

“PUB is monitoring the raw water quality in Johor River closely and will resume abstraction and treatment of raw water when water quality is suitable.”

A high-level of ammonia pollution was initially found in Sungai Sayong, which supplies raw water to the Johor River, The Star reported on Thursday.

The river had become polluted after a reservoir at a bio-composite centre next to an oil palm refinery in Sedenak burst, causing the contaminated water to flow into the water body, said Jimmy Puah Wee Tse, chairman of the Johor International Trade, Investment and Utility Committee.

About 17,000 homes in the Malaysian town of Kulai had their water supply disrupted because of the incident, the report added.

Malaysian authorities have taken the "necessary action" against the oil palm refinery by cancelling its raw water abstraction licence with immediate effect.

A compound notice has also been served, Mr Puah said.

Source: CNA/mi


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