Kedah DOE probes cause of pollution in Sg Kulim

ALOR SETAR, Feb 18 (Bernama) — The Kedah Department of Environment (DOE) is investigating the cause of the pollution upstream of Sungai Kulim, believed due to pig farming activities in Sungai Lembu, Seberang Perai Tengah, Penang.

Its director, Sharifah Zakiah Syed Sahab, said the investigation was conducted following a Notification of Pollution Event (NPE) Level 1 at Sungai Kulim received by the department at 11 am last Friday.

“The recorded reading for the Ammoniacal Nitrogen (NH3-N) parameter was 2.91152 milligrams per litre (mg/L) which exceeds the limit. Following this, a team of investigators from the Kulim Branch was deployed to trace the source of the pollution.

“A review of the inventory record and field investigations covering the upstream area of Sungai Kulim was conducted before the team found black-coloured water flowing from Sungai Air Merah, which is at the Kedah-Penang border, entering Sungai Kulim,” she said in a statement here today.

She said the investigating team then conducted monitoring with the use of drones along Sungai Air Merah.

“The drone monitoring along Sungai Air Merah detected the source of the black water discharge believed to originate from effluent or wastewater released from pig farming activities in Sungai Lembu.

“Inspections around the pig farming area revealed several ponds discharging effluent into Sungai Air Merah, subsequently entering Sungai Kulim. The distance between the farming area and the confluence of Sungai Air Merah-Sungai Kulim is three kilometres,” she said.

According to Sharifah Zakiah, the Toh Allang Water Treatment Plant at Sungai Kulim (in Penang),  which supplies water to Penang Island, is about seven km from the confluence of Sungai Kulim and Sungai Air Merah.

She said the results of the investigation had been conveyed to the Penang DOE for further action.