Selangor raps Syabas for new dam idea

(The Malaysian Insider) – Water utility Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) earned the wrath of Selangor executive councillor Elizabeth Wong yesterday for proposing a new dam in Ampang directly to the federal government to overcome problems from a faulty water treatment plant.

Wong, who hold the environment portfolio, said the water concessionaire, which distributes water to both Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, should not have by-passed the state government or propose an expensive solution.

Syabas had proposed for the new dam to be built directly to the Energy, Water and Green Technology Ministry, because of the frequent shutdowns at the Salak Tinggi water treatment plant due to ammonia pollution in Sungai Labu, in Sepang.

Wong said the proposal for the new dam did not make sense because it would cost a lot less money to upgrade the Salak Tinggi water treatment plant which is operated by Puncak Niaga Bhd.

“Instead of spending so much money to build another dam, Puncak Niaga should use it to improve the water treatment technology at the Sungai Salak treatment plan,” she said, adding the Department of Environment (DOE) had made the recommendation in 2006.

Studies have indicated that the source of the pollution is coming from Sungai Nilai in Negri Sembilan, which connects to Sungai Labu.

Syabas chief executive officer Datuk Ruslan Hassan has said the new dam would serve as a alternative water source for the Salak Tinggi water treatment plant and other areas during the dry season.

The plant was shut down on Sunday, the third time this year due to ammonia contamination.