Leaks in a 20-year-old Jordanian dam have been stemmed, says the kingdom’s water and irrigation minister, Muslih Tarawinah. Tests have shown that leakage from the dam, which contains wastewater, has not caused lasting pollution.

The dam, forming part of the wastewater system of the northern city of Mafraq, suffered a partial collapse resulting in a spill of 30-50,000m3 of sewerage. Tarawinah dismissed reports that the wastewater had flowed into the Yarmouk river which flows along Jordan’s northern border. Instead, it had flowed 5km into neighbouring Syria and collected in a depression.

Local reports said that Syria had several times asked Jordan to close the dam storage facility, complaining that it adversely affected its environment and agriculture.