SPAN: Probe into Ayer Ganda water treatment plant contamination underway

Chairman Charles Santiago said today that SPAN regretted that Ayer Ganda water treatment plant was allowed to operate despite the contamination being detected since January. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Chairman Charles Santiago said today that SPAN regretted that Ayer Ganda water treatment plant was allowed to operate despite the contamination being detected since January. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The National Water Services Commission (SPAN) is investigating the contamination of the Ayer Ganda water treatment plant in Gerik, Perak to determine if there is any element of negligence.

Its chairman Charles Anthony Santiago told a press conference at the Parliament lobby here today that SPAN regretted that the plant was allowed to operate despite the contamination being detected since January.

According to him, SPAN was informed of the pollution on January 8 and, on January 14, SPAN instructed the Perak Water Board (PWB) to upgrade its treatment processes to clean up the contaminants or to find other raw water sources.

However, he said, PWB failed to obey the two instructions and, on April 9, SPAN ordered the water treatment plant to cease operation immediately.

He said the plant supplied water to about 1,500 consumers in Kampung Ayer Ganda and that, for the time being, the PWB was providing water using tanker lorries as well as through static tanks.

On April 4, state Education, Technology, Science and Environment Committee chairman Abdul Aziz Bari revealed that the arsenic contamination in Sungai Rui was believed to have been started by illegal mining activities.

Sungai Rui is the main supplier of raw water to the Ayer Ganda LRA. — Bernama