Indah Water: Waste Being Dumped Illegally To Be Blamed For Polluting Sungai Gong, Not Us

The effluent was likely released by an illegal waste disposal unit near Indah Water Konsortium's plant, according to its chief executive officer (CEO) Narendran Maniam.

Cover image via Lembaga Urus Air Selangor (Facebook) & Zunnur Al Shafiq/New Straits Times

Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) has now denied being involved in the pollution incident that occurred in the water of Sungai Gong yesterday

In a statement on Saturday, 19 September, the Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS) had said that investigations found that discharge of the foamy and coloured effluent in the Sungai Gong was from IWK's Rawang Integrated Industrial Park Sewage Treatment Plant (GBK134).

Following which, IWK, which is a government-owned company under the Minister of Finance Incorporated, had halted both water flow from the incoming pump and the discharge of effluents, LUAS said.

However, IWK chief executive officer (CEO) Narendran Maniam today, 20 September, denied that the GBK134 had discharged effluent into Sungai Gong, which caused the river water to turn black.

Narendran said the effluent was released by an illegal waste disposal unit near IWK's plant.

"This statement (by LUAS) will confuse people and, at the same time, point the finger of blame towards IWK when the real cause is probably due to illegal dumping of waste," Narendran said in a statement.

According to the IWK CEO, material from the suspected illegal waste disposal flew into their plant's inlet chamber, causing water at the final process to be contaminated with a deep yellow colour, which an IWK staff at the GBK134 identified and chemical dosage works were carried out to control the situation.

A file photo of IWK CEO Narendran Maniam.

Image via New Straits Times

Narendran said that this was the reason that IWK staff had halted the discharge of effluents from its plant in Rawang on Saturday

The cleaning operations, which are still ongoing, are expected to be completed later today.

"Our staff at the plant are monitoring and controlling the influx of wastewater into the plant. We believe there was illegal waste disposal near our plant, causing it to flow into our plant," Narendran said.

"Sewage treatment plants are only designed to treat wastewater and are not capable of treating chemicals or other waste illegally discharged into the sewer pipeline," he added.

It's an oxidation ditch (OD) plant and is connected to 11,106 households, covering only the industrial area.

He said that IWK is an easy target for any water pollution incident

"It is frustrating that IWK often becomes an easy target for any water pollution incident, such as in this case, without any thorough investigation," Narendran said.

According to him, IWK has always ensured that operation and maintenance work at all 7,000 plants under its supervision are in accordance with the specifications and procedures set by the authorities.

"Non-sewage waste is often placed in sewer chambers by irresponsible parties. Hence, it is better for all parties to work together in addressing the issue of actual pollution," he added,

Read about the water pollution detected in Sungai Gong here: