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Selangor Water Treatment Plants Shut Down After Oil Spill

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia

Three water treatment plants in Malaysia's Selangor state that were shut down over the weekend due to pollution from an oil spill are operational again, the Selangor Water Management Board (Luas) announced on October 12th.

“However, there will be interruption of treated water supply to consumers because it will take time for [plant] operations to return to normal,” according to an update published on Luas' website.

Water provider Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas) shut down the SSP1, SSP2 and SSP3 plants near the Sungai Selangor Dam on October 11th, after oil residue was detected on the water surface of the Selangor River. The shutdown disrupted supply to seven areas in the Klang Valley -- Gombak, Klang-Shah Alam, Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Hulu Langat, Kuala Langat and Kuala Selangor.

The plants supply about 60 percent of the Klang Valley's potable water.

Syabas corporate communications and public affairs general manager Priscilla Alfred Dharan said the company would mobilize tankers to provide water to the area over the next few days until water supply resumes.

An investigation by a team from the Selangor State Water Resource Pollution Emergency Committee (JKPSA) failed to identify the source of the pollution.

In the wake of the incident, Selangor's new Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) Azmin Ali called for an emergency meeting with water distribution compaies and local government representatives.

“I want stern action to be taken against those responsible for the diesel contamination at the affected treatment plants,” local media quoted Azmin as saying on his Facebook page.

He asked residents to tweet about any water supply disruptions.

"I will be monitoring it myself and will deal with Syabas,” he said.

Earlier this year, Selangor faced water woes in the form of a lengthy dry spell. The state government was forced implemented phased water rationing throughout the Klang Valley. The rationing ended on May 1st.

To address the scarcity problems, the state also pumped water from a disused tin mining pond in Bestari Jaya into the Sungai Selangor Dam. The water was thought to contain high concentrations of heavy metals, making it unsafe for human consumption.