No water supply to 75,000 following closure of Simpang Renggam plant

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KLUANG (March 25): Water supply to about 75,000 consumers of SAJ Ranhill Sdn Bhd  in Johore have been cut since Saturday morning (March 23), following the temporary closure of the water treatment plant in Simpang Renggam in Kluang.

The plant was closed because of ammonia pollution in Sungai Benut.

Those affected are from Simpang Renggam, Ayer Hitam, Kulai and part of Pontian district.

Simpang Renggam Member of Parliament (MP) and Education Minister, Dr Maszlee Malik said the pollution had worsened as the bund surrounding the CEP Renggam landfill, in the vicinity, broke causing the leachate to be absorbed (into the ground).

Scientists have said that leachate from landfills can contaminate and pollute the surface and groundwater.

"We believe there are irresponsible people taking the opportunity to release ammonia into this river. At the same time we are urging SAJ Ranhill (which is responsible for water supply services in Johor) to provide water through its tankers to consumers in the affected areas.

At the same time, we hope that action will be taken against the affected parties and the landfill in Ulu Sungai Benut (which is one of the causes of the problem) is closed immediately," he told reporters after visiting the treatment plant here today.

Meanwhile, State Department of Environment (DOE) director Datuk Dr Mohammad Ezanni Mat Salleh, who visited the plant, said the authorities had carried out an investigation and had taken samples at the river to submit to the Chemistry Department for analysis.

The case is being investigated under Section 31 and Section 25 of the Environmental Quality Act 1974.