KLANG, April 25 – Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has dismissed claims that the state government’s move to use raw water from disused mining pools to meet Klang Valley’s water needs would cause health problems because of the heavy metal content. He said water from disused mines was safe for use, based on samples taken by the chemistry and health departments. “We also have other experts who said that water from disused mines was safe for use, and tests conducted by chemists also arrived at the same finding,” he told reporters after attending a special programme with the people here Friday. Environmental Quality Council Malaysia chairman, Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang had been reported as saying that raw water from disused mines was unsuitable as water supply as it posed risks to public health, including causing skin problems.
The water specialist and former vice-chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia had said previous studies indicated that water obtained from the surface-level of disused mining pools would not cause a problem unless extracted from the bottom as heavy metal elements would also be drawn out. Abdul Khalid said work to draw water from disused mines had begun in a move to overcome the current water shortage, with eight high-powered water pumps in operation, each capable of pumping out as much as 50 million litres of water daily. The state exco had previously agreed on an allocation of RM10 million to build infrastructure to pump water from disused mining pools or ponds in the vicinity of the Selangor River Basin to the Selangor River.