This follows the positive result from the non-chemical method used on Sungai Segget in Johor Baharu since some years ago.
Ghani said the water quality index of the river that once reached level five, which was serious as nothing could live in it, had now gone down to level two. "I am confident that Sungai Segget will be fully rehabilitated soon to allow living things to survive in its water," he said when opening the Ledang Agriculture Carnival in Pulau Penarik, Sungai Mati, here, today.
The Sungai Segget, Sungai Skudai and Sungai Tebrau cleansing programme had been proposed in the Eighth Malaysia Plan (8MP) but difficult to be implemented because of the high cost involved.
According to the action plan drawn up by a consultant company appointed by the state government, the cost of cleansing the three rivers was RM800 million while the government allocation under the 9MP for river cleansing nationwide was RM500 million.
Using EM balls to treat polluted river water is much cheaper as they are made of padi husks, chicken feed, oil palm waste and EM solution containing three main naturally existing microbes, namely lactic acid bacteria, phototrophic bacteria and yeast.
Skudai River has been badly polluted for decades by chemicals or effluent from factories along the river.
Meanwhile, Sungai Mati in Pulau Penarik which is now at level two of the latest pollution index is from today being treated with EM and the water quality expected to improve in the next six months.
"We have put 30 to 40 EM balls into the river and the number will be increased to 160,000 in the next six months, incurring not a big cost, Ghani said.
He said the 8km-long river and five metres deep was not only useful for farmers in Pulau Penarik but could also be turned into a recreational centre offering water sports.
Earlier, Ghani said Johor was now focusing on increasing agriculture produce using the organic farming method, free from chemical fertiliser use.
He said organicallly-grown produce not only fetched a higher price but also in demand from the health-conscious international community. -- Bernama
Read more: Skudai river to be treated soon using effective microorganisms http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/Skudairivertobetreatedsoonusingeffectivemicroorganisms/Article/#ixzz0sLWQLkQl
SOURCE: NST JOHOR STREETS, JUNE 21, 2010