S'pore unaffected by Johor's closure of water treatment plants

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Water supply to Singapore will not be affected by Johor River Waterworks temporarily stopping treatment operations because of high ammonia levels in the Johor River.

The stoppage on Saturday disrupted supply to Singapore and some parts of Johor, but the PUB said it had stepped up production at the desalination plants and local waterworks to meet demand.

The PUB said it is monitoring the raw water quality in the Johor River and will resume abstraction and treatment of raw water when the water quality is suitable.

In a related development, Johor has directed a poultry farm and a factory that converts manure into fertiliser located along the river in Kota Tinggi to close down. Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin said the two premises have been identified as the cause of the high ammonia content.

He said the decision to close the premises was made following suggestions by eight agencies during a special meeting yesterday, The Star reported.

In the meeting, investigations conducted by the eight agencies had linked the poultry farm and the plant to the high ammonia content in the river.

The high ammonia content forced the closure of the Sungai Johor, Semanggar and Tai Hong water treatment plants, which supply water to 1.8 million consumers in south Johor.

The ammonia level of 2.75 parts per million (ppm) was much higher than the Malaysian Health Ministry's permitted level of 1.5ppm.