Irda: At least one year for polluted Sg Segget to recover

Rizalman Hammim

JOHOR BARU: The completion of the combined sewerage treatment plant (CSTP) here is expected to help improve the water quality of Sungai Segget but it could take up to a year before the target of improving the water quality to Class IIB is achieved.

Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) head of projects and programme management Mohd Zam Mustaman said at the moment, Sungai Segget is considered as the second most polluted river in Malaysia and is classified as Class IV.

"Previously, all the affluent from houses or businesses flows directly to the river, which is why it became so polluted. With the completion of the CSTP, we would process the affluent before releasing it into the river.

"Our target is to improve Sungai Segget's water quality to Class IIB, which means that it would be safe if consumed by human and aquatic life would thrive. However, this would take time, a minimum of six month, maybe up to a year," said Mohd Zam.

He said the public should also play their part by abandoning their habit of throwing rubbish into the river.

Mohd Zam was speaking to the media after a familiarisation tour of the plant yesterday.

The CSTP, which was built at a cost of RM120 million, is part of the Sungai Segget rehabilitation project. It began operation in January and have a maximum operating capacity of over 33,000 cubic metre a day.

The plant not only processes sewage but also river water from Sungai Segget's upstream before releasing it downstream.

Mohd Zam said the plant caters to a population of about 150,000 around the Johor Baru city centre.

"At the moment, the plant is operating at about 10 per cent of its capacity. It will operate at 100 per cent capacity once all the various developments in the city centre are completed."

He also said that depending on the future development and population growth in the city, it is likely that another treatment plant would be needed in order to meet an increased demand for sewage treatment.

"We have already set the model and standard that can be use. Any plans for the building of another plant would also depend on the allocation that Irda would receive," said Mohd Zam.

The CSTP would eventually be operated by the Johor Baru City Council.