A major oil spill along Sungai Johor has forced the operations of two water treatment plants to be shut down since 8am on Thursday.
Following the temporary closure of the Semanggar and Sungai Johor treatment plants, some 1.25 million people from 250,000 households in Johor Baru, Nusajaya and part of Kulaijaya are expected to experience water disruption from 8am, at least for the next 24 hours.
Efforts by the Department of Environment, SAJ Holdings Sdn Bhd and the Johor Health Department have focused on, among others, installing silt curtain-like structures to prevent the spread of the oil spill further down the river.
Initial investigation showed that the oil spill originated from a used tyre processing factory near Felda Taib Andak in Kulai.
State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the fuel used to burn used tyres had apparently spilled into the river and contaminated the waterway stretching for about 15 kilometres.
“We have taken all precautionary measures to prevent the oil spill from flowing further down the river or it will force us to shut down the operations of even more water treatment plants and the effect will be disastrous,” he told the New Straits Times.
It is learnt that there are five water treatment plants located along Sungai Johor. The other three, which are located further down the river, are the Sungai Sayong, Linggiu, and Bandar Tenggara treatment plants.
Water treated at the Linggiu treatment plant is supplied to Singapore.