National sewage company Indah Water Konsortium Sdn Bhd (IWK) has assured that none of its sewage treatment plants in Pasir Gudang releases waste into Sungai Kim Kim, the site of recent illegal chemical dumping.
In a statement, CEO Faizal Othman explained that while IWK operates seven sewage treatment plants and seven pump stations in Pasir Gudang, the treated wastewater is channelled into Sungai Masai “in accordance to the high standards set by the Department of Environment (DOE)”.
He further assured that IWK staff have been trained to handle chemicals and their required safety protocols.
“There are other sewage treatment plants in Pasir Gudang that are maintained by other parties.
“Our staff have been briefed on safety involving chemicals. We also monitor daily the air quality index released by the DOE and inform our staff at the plants,” Faizal said in his statement.
IWK staff working in the vicinity of Sungai Kim Kim are also provided with respirator masks, he added.
The company was responding to media reports which quoted water quality and modelling specialist Dr Zaki Zainudin as stating that the dumping of toxic waste into Sungai Kim Kim had been going on for nearly 10 years.
Zaki stated the deterioration of the river could be attributed to, among others, discharge from sewage treatment plants upstream.
Toxic fumes as a result of illegal dumping of chemical wastes into Sungai Kim Kim recently resulted in over a hundred nearby schools being shuttered with hundreds of nearby residents, teachers and students seeking medical aid after suffering from breathing difficulties, vomiting, nausea and sore throats.
To date, police have nabbed nine men as part of their investigations into the dumping.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the DOE has been instructed to also investigate possible dumping of chemical wastes in the Masai area.