Mad rush to buy water

Residents of SS2, Petaling Jaya, Selangor queuing up for water distributed with an assortment of buckets, pails and containers.

MALAYSIA - Klang Valley residents on Sunday welcomed the trickle of water flowing out of their taps after the water supply had been cut off in most areas since Friday.

A factory located along the banks of the Sungei Selangor had discharged used engine oil into the river, forcing the four water treatment plants in the area to stop operations, reported The Star.

Local residents appear to have made a run on bottled water and mineral water in shops, resorting to buying isotonic sports drinks when the water was sold out.

Last Saturday, several shops reported that water had been sold out within an hour after they opened.

"It's crazy. There were people lining up in front of the shop before we even opened for the day," said a supermarket clerk.

Accountant Liew Chin Ee and his family drove in two cars to a store to load up on bottles of water after hearing about the water disruption over the radio.

"We have already been to a few places. They have run out of water. I do not know how long this is going to be, so better be safe than sorry."

Writer J. Loh, who lives in Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, said his taps were dry when he got home at 9pm last Friday.

"The only water reserves I had were in my water tank. I have never had such a brief shower before - just a quick rinse, turned off the tap while soaping and shampooing, and washed off the suds," he said.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister G. Palanivel said the Selangor Department of Environment seized two tankers used by the factory owner to collect used engine oil while the Selayang Municipal Council (MPS) closed the centre's operations, reported the New Straits Times.

The used engine oil, amounting to about 4,000 litres, had been collected by Friday evening.




Six suction pumps were used to collect the oil floating in the river, but there is still residue floating in the river.

MPS president Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain said the council had issued 14 compound notices to the garbage truck maintenance centre owner, including operating the centre without a licence, improper drainage and failure to follow safety measures.

MPS on Sunday said the factory owner could not be found.

"We had contacted him (the owner) to be present at the inspection on Saturday, but he is missing and instead sent his supervisor who doesn't want to comment on the incident," Mr Azizi said on Sunday.

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