PUB clears river sludge along Robertson Quay

The air along Robertson Quay has finally been cleared. And the source of the offending stench a 1m-thick layer of sludge lining the bed of the Singapore River has been removed, giving the area a breath of fresh air.

The years of muck that lined a 50m stretch of riverbed could have been due to dead leaves, litter and silt discharged from nearby worksites, especially after rain, said a PUB officer during a media briefing at the quayside on Monday.

The sludge fronting the Red House at The Quayside had been assailing the nostrils of visitors, patrons and tenants for the last three months. And while the PUB assured that the air is clean again, the agency would “continue to monitor the situation”.

TODAY had reported last week that visitors to the pubs and restaurants located along the bend at Robertson Quay had complained of a pungent smell.

Mr William Yeo, PUB’s assistant director of catchment and waterways, said the agency conducts a major dredging exercise along the river once every few years.

Whenever they are notified about a stench, they will carry out localised dredging the last one at Robertson Quay was done in 2001.The latest dredging exercise was completed on Monday, the third such this year. Patrol boats also make daily rounds, scooping up dead leaves, plastics and cans.

“The river is very large so we need help from the public and businesses to give feedback to us,” said Mr Yeo. He added that they will continue make their rounds but if there is no smell, they will not disturb the riverbed.

Restaurant staff along the river told TODAY that they are finally getting a breath of fresh air. The managing partner of the Brussels Sprouts, Ms Monique Kwok, 40, said that she is looking forward to more business. She said that customers had previously associated the foul smell with the restaurant lining the river.

“Business is definitely going to improve because more people will probably visit the area and hang out by the river now that the smell is gone,” she said.

Source : Today – 27 May 2008

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