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Alcohol waste turns Java's longest river 'pitch black', disrupting water supply in Surakarta

Jakarta Post - November 6, 2019

Jakarta – Liquid waste in the form of a traditional Javanese alcoholic drink called ciu has contaminated the Bengawan Solo River in Surakarta, Central Java, killing fish and disrupting the area's clean water supply for residents.

The alcoholic waste has disrupted Surakarta's Semanggi water treatment installation (IPA) of Pasar Kliwon subdistrict, forcing the IPA to fully halt operations at its three intake points, namely Semanggi, Jebres and Jurug, for two days last week. During that time, water from the river could not be treated.

"The water in the Bengawan Solo River has changed color to pitch black and has reeked of alcohol since Friday," Semanggi intake guard Purnomo said on Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.

As a result, clean water supply for the residents was disrupted. City-owned drinking water company Toya Wening decided to provide water with tanker trucks.

Purnomo said this was the worst case of contamination Java's longest river had experienced this year. It is believed that the liquid waste had flowed from the Samin River into Sukoharjo regency.

"The contamination is an annual incident, but this year is the worst compared to previous years because the water hasn't been treated in two," Purnomo said, adding it usually took only a day for the water to be treated again. He added that the Semanggi intake began to operate normally on Sunday evening.

Surakarta-owned water company technical director Tri Atmojo Sukomulyo confirmed that the other two intake points of Jurug and Brebes were still contaminated by the alcohol waste as of Tuesday. "For now, we're drawing water from the Semanggi intake," he said. (ars)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/11/06/alcohol-waste-turns-javas-longest-river-pitch-black-disrupting-water-supply-in-surakarta.html