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Four Bengkulu's Drinking Water Sources Contaminated by Microplastics
TheIndonesia.id - Ecoton Director Prigi Arisandi said three rivers and a lake that are the source of raw water for regional drinking water companies (PDAMs) in Bengkulu have been contaminated with microplastics. Microplastics if consumed can harm the human body because they can trigger tumor growth, inhibit the immune system, and interfere with the reproductive system.
"We examined four rivers where three of them are PDAM water sources and based on the quick tests we tested, the three rivers were already polluted with microplastics," said Arisandi in Bengkulu, Sunday, May 1, 2022.
Arisandi and his colleague Amirudin Muttakin were in Bengkulu on the Nusantara River Expedition, which was initiated to observe the condition of rivers in the archipelago, including the condition of rivers in Bengkulu and other areas on the island of Sumatra. He said research on water quality in the Bengkulu region was carried out at five points, namely Dendam Tak Sudah Lake, Rindu Hati River, Bengkulu River, Air Nelas River, and Musi River.
From these five points, three rivers are sources of PDAM water raw materials, namely Musi River water a source of water for residents of Kepahiang Regency, Bengkulu River and Nelas River as raw material for Bengkulu City residents.
"From the five sampling points, only Rindu Hati River located in Rindu Hati Village, Central Bengkulu Regency which is still free or not contaminated with microplastics, is still very good for drinking water sources, this should be appreciated and preserved," said Arisandi.
Meanwhile, four other water sampling points, namely three rivers and one lake, namely Lake Dendam Tak Already have been contaminated with microplastics and other polluting compounds such as chlorine, phosphate, iron, manganese, copper, which have exceeded the quality standard threshold based on the water quality test regulated in Government Regulation Number 22 of 2021 concerning the Implementation of Environmental Protection and Management.
The research team in the Bengkulu region in collaboration with Ulayat, Mapetala Bengkulu and Telapak, found that apart from containing polluting compounds, plastic waste was also found in the three rivers. Arisandi said that plastic waste that is dumped into the environment including rivers has endangered human health and the environment, especially since Indonesia is recorded to produce 8 million tons of waste per year. Of the 8 million tons, as many as 2.6 million tons are wasted in rivers and end up in the sea.
Meanwhile, a community leader in Rindu Hati Village, Sutan Mukhlis, said that the role of the community in maintaining and preserving the river is the key to managing the environment as was done in the Rindu Hati River. "We also expect support for river conservation in the upstream area because so far the community has played a role in maintaining the cleanliness of the river. Like in Rindu Hati, we also reject the presence of large-scale oil palm plantations that have the potential to pollute the river, likewise the threat of coal mining," he said.
He hopes that the regional and central governments will pay attention to the preservation of rivers in the Bengkulu area because most people still use river water to meet their daily needs.