The Battambang provincial authority has asked national-level authorities to intervene and halt the operations of a company which is releasing waste liquids into the Sangke River, causing the colour of the water to change.

According to an August 4 statement from the provincial administration, its officials conducted an inspection of the river after social media users drew attention to the changing colour of the water. Users also shared images of dead fish, which they claimed had been poisoned by the pollutants.

The officials determined that the damage was due to the release of chemical waste from a factory in Phcheav village, Treng commune of Ratanak Mondol district.

Although the water changed its colour, an assessment by the provisional Department of Industry, Science, Technology, and Innovation indicated that the water remained safe, and did not pose a threat to the health of humans or animals.

The statement added that as of August 4, the water had returned to its normal hue.

The administration made the company sign a contract agreeing to halt the release of any liquid or solid waste into the river, and noted that if caught doing so, the company would be prosecuted.

“We have requested intervention from the Ministry of Industry, Science, Technology & Innovation to suspend the operations of this company, and have also asked the Ministry of Environment and relevant entities to inspect the site of the pollution and carry out further evaluations of the possible health impacts of the substances,” added the administration.