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Waist Deep in the Big Muddy!

Denpasar's Environment Department Says the 3 Rivers Flowing Through Baliís Capital are Badly Polluted.

(8/24/2006) A front-page story in the Wednesday, August 23, 2006 edition of the Indonesian language Bali Post reports that the three main rivers flowing through Bali's capital - Tukad Badung, Tukad Ayung and Tukad Mati are all badly contaminated by human and chemical wastes, and the by-products from the cloth-dyeing cottage industries operating along the rivers' banks.

Human waste and chemical dyes found in samples drawn from the rivers have reached levels that concern local officials, according to the Head of Bali's Environmental Care Department, Ir. I Ketut Suandi.

Also, according to Suandi, his department receive numerous complaints from resident along the river regarding the foul smells caused by chemical dyes flushed raw into the river.

Claiming that enforcement against polluters is difficult, the head of the pollution control department for Denpasar, Nengah Sugamia, blames the mobility of dyeing operations that quickly move their locations when closed down by his officers. Sugamina appealed for help from local village chiefs and the community to report whenever they discover companies or individuals disposing of raw sewage and chemicals into one of Denpasar's 3 river systems.

Another local pollution control official stated that all three of the Cityís rivers are badly contaminated, with the Ayung River less severely affected that its two sister rivers.

The estimated 208 companies involved in dyeing textiles in Denpasar are largely unlicensed and unregistered, making moves by the government to regulate them as a source of pollution even more problematic.