A blue jeans dyeing and washing operation run by PPS Ltd Cambodia has been ordered by the municipal Environment Department to stop production until it can control its waste water emissions.
People living near the Phnom Penh factory, which stands at the intersection of streets 347 and 528, said they are glad they will be free of the foul-smelling effluent that has been part of their daily lives since 1997.
According to a letter from Cheap Sivorn, the director of the municipal Environment Department, the factory was washing denim 24 hours a day, using between 600,000 and 800,000 liters of water. Huge amounts of waste water were flowing into a public drain, damaging the road and the ground floors of nearby houses before flowing into the Bayab lake.
PPS Cambodia has been ordered to install an absorption basin inside the plant, where chemicals used in the dyeing process can be dissolved before the water is allowed to drain away.
“No more stink! I’m very excited,” said Chhit Phalkun, one of 300 residents in the area. “Now the fish will start coming back.”
Happier still is Mun Nim, 53, who lives right next to the factory. In past years the wet season’s rains washed the chemical liquid inside his house. His wife has developed a rash on her foot caused by the waste water.
“The officials work better now,” he said with a smile.