Heavenly chicken (droppings) soup, anyone?

Chicken in a biskit no stocks. But naturally-prepared chicken (dropping) soup almost made it to our taps.

Over the weekend, it was reported that Johor River, one of Singapore’s water supply sources, was polluted with ammonia content that went beyond healthy levels. As a result, water treatment plant managed by our very own PUB in Johor has to close temporarily.

The cause of pollution? Chicken droppings. Yeah, you heard it right – chicken shit.

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For some reason, a poultry farm and a factory that process chicken droppings into fertilisers were allowed to operate near the Johor River and despite committing similar offence before, was still allowed to continue. Checks by the Malaysian authorities showed that fertiliser made from the chicken droppings was stacked and “exposed to the elements”, and according to a Malaysian government officer, “when it rains, the water soaks these items and the water seeps into the ground and flows into the river. This leads to the high content of ammonia in the river.”

Holy moly, this sounds a bit like how we prepare chicken tonic soup. Immerse a dead chicken in water and boil long long. Few hours later, we drink the soup that contains whatever that flows out of the dead chicken and we think we are stronger than before.

Different but somewhat same same lah. Just that the one in Johor is chicken ‘soup’ that contains whatever that flows out from the fertiliser made from the chicken discharge, after hours of being soaked in “heavenly water”.

Luckily, PUB has assured us on Mon (30 Oct) that its Johor plant has resumed treatment operations as the water quality at its plant’s intake point is assessed to be suitable for treatment. Thankfully, and rightly so, the PUB guards our water sources very, very seriously.

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So, exactly how is ammonia bad for us? Those who did chemistry will know that ammonia gas is pungent (aka smelly). Swallowing substances with high concentrations of ammonia will also result in corrosive damage to mouth, throat and stomach. To reach this harmful level of will take a lot of negligence from all parties.

Hopefully, we will never get to taste the alternative chicken soup in any form any time soon.