The Brantas River is Polluted

MALANG CITY – Water pollution in Brantas River is getting worse. In addition to garbage deposits continue to grow, also found the content of harmful chemicals. Though, thousands residents of Malang Raya live in Brantas River Basin.

Jawa Pos Radar Malang monitors some point to know the condition of Brantas River among others at Muharto Street Bridge. A few minutes this newspaper reporter on location, known to many residents who throw garbage into Brantas River. As a result, many piles of domestic waste (garbage from households) settles and there is also garbage attached to the lip of the river ranging from plastic, waste paper, baby diapers, to chicken carcasses.

A few days ago, the citizens of Pendem, Junrejo Sub-district, Batu City, fret because they found a lot of foam flowing into Brantas River. Residents reported the amount of froth to Batu City Environmental Service and Resort Police. Until now, police are still investigating to find out whether the foam contains harmful chemicals or not.

Deputy Technique of Perum Jasa Tirta I, Fahmi Hidayat stated that his side has conducted water quality test in Brantas River regularly.

“The result is that the water quality in Brantas River is below standard so it is not suitable for daily needs (for cooking, drinking and bathing),” said Fahmi yesterday (12/1).

They continue to monitor at several points including the bridge Dinoyo, Muharto, and several other points. Fahmi has mapped several factors that cause pollution in Brantas River that is the behavior of Brantas residents who carelessly throw garbage until there is a bathroom without septic tank so that its disposal directly Brantas River.

In addition, many home industries are dumping their waste into Brantas River. From the tests conducted, many plant waste and agricultural chemicals, such as pesticides.

“The majority of waste is domestic waste. Throughout Brantas River Basin of Malang Raya, the most waste is from residents of Malang City,” explained Fahmi.

Specifically for domestic waste, Fahmi stated, every month Perum Jasa Tirta 1 cleans 100 thousand cubic meters of garbage. That’s new in Sengguruh Dam (District Kepanjen, Malang Regency) only, not yet in other regions. “The garbage is various, such as plastic to mattress,” said Fahmi.

He also asserted that the water quality test results are always submitted to the governor of East Java and local government. “Every year we report the quality of the water, the governor and local government must know,” said Fahmi.

He confessed, they have tried to prevent it. The target is residents who live in Brantas River area. Fahmi with his staff also gave counseling to eliminate the habit of littering.

In addition, Perum Jasa Tirta 1 also provides trash cans to reduce the habit of disposing of garbage in Brantas River. “We are working with other parties. The corporate social responsibility funds of the company are allocated for the procurement of garbage cans,” he said.

On the other hand, Ecoton, one of the non-governmental organizations concerned with the environment, has also conducted data collection. Ecoton’s Executive Director, Prigi Arisandi, said the results of the data reveal that pollution in Brantas River is increasing, especially pollution caused by domestic waste.

“The use of baby diapers continues to increase. Each baby can use four to nine diapers per day. That means the disposal of baby diapers is also increasing,” said Arisandi.

He asserted, Ecoton has investigated in various cities in East Java dintaranya, Surabaya, Sidoarjo, Gresik, Mojokerto, Mojokerto, Jombang, Batu, Malang, and Malang, from 9 cities and regencies passed by Brantas River throughout 2017.

“In Malang City, 85 percent of piles of garbage are baby diapers. The rest are chicken carcasses, plastic, and organic waste,” explained Arisandi.

If forced to dispose of baby diapers, Arisandi hope, the concumers can clean it first. “Before disposal, the dirt must be separated and thrown into the septic tank first. Numbers of baby diapers make pollution of E-coli bacteria in Brantas River,” he said.

Separately, Head of Health Office of Malang, Asih Tri Rachmi stated, not many patients are sick due to water pollution. She suspects, already many people who use water Company Regional Water Supply or the population of drinking water users for everyday need.

“We have no significant data due to river water pollution because the average citizens have obtained clean water,” she said.

He explained, some diseases caused by water quality is diarrhea because the water used contains E-coli bacteria. Even so, Asih still urge citizens to remain vigilant. Although the water is not consumed directly, it still has an impact for example through underground water infiltration to the well.

“It could be the river water seeps into the ground and then pollute the underground water as well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Head of Pollution Control and Environmental Degradation of Environmental Office of Malang Regency, Irwantoro said, the impact of pollution that occurred in Batu City has potential to some western districts of Malang Regency.

“Even if it spread its contamination, it is likely to be carried away to Kasembon Sub-district,” said Irwantoro.

He conveyed, during this time, they monitor the quality of water in the district of Malang. In addition, Irwantoro also urged people to report if they complain about pollution, especially residents of Kasembon who allegedly became the mouth of Brantas River flow from Batu City.

“However, there has been no complaints coming from the community,” he said.

Head of Health Office of Malang Regency, Abdurrachman also said, In order to ensure the feasibility and water content of Brantas River which is used for daily activities of the citizens, the health service performs water quality testing.

“We have a special laboratory to check the water feasibility standards, either in rivers, reservoirs, ponds, or swimming pools,” he said.

Touched about the water quality of the Brantas River, Abdurrachman found no contamination. “Every semester we must do the inspection according to standard operating procedure,” he concluded.

Reporters: Aris Syaiful, Aris Dwi & Farik Fajarwati
Editor: Mahmudan
Copy Editor: Dwi Lindawati
Translator: Jamilah Aljah
Photografer: Bayu Eka