Ammonia Contamination of Water in Johor
At the beginning of January, Malay media reported that treated water supply to 7,000 households in Johor was disrupted due to ammonia contamination of the river Sungai Muar – main water source for the region. In an attempt to curb the local catastrophe state authorities decided to stop the water flow, what affected some 35,000 people across the Northern Johor.
Chairman of Johor International Trade, Investment and Utilities Committee Jimmy Puah Wee Tse said that government was still investigating the source of ammonia. The authorities had already denied possible sabotage.
In several days, the water supply was restored but the authorities were still working on ensuring total rehabilitation of the quality and supply. It is believed that the contaminants had originated from an industrial site.
Among the steps to reduce the effects, utilities released additional 440 MLD of raw water from a dam nearby and made ten water tankers to distribute water to the areas.
Ammonia was found in potentially drinking water. It means that there had been likely a source of household utilities wastewater discharge somewhere near the water intake. That makes the water treatment much more expensive. In order to reduce the costs of the treatment it is necessary to build biological water treatment facilities: treatment wetlands would be the most suitable as it not only removes nitrogen from water but also disinfects it and eliminates organic pollutants such as pesticides and drugs.