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Swimmer's Itch

6 Popular Bali Beaches Declared Polluted.

(8/7/2010) A researcher from the Biology Faculty of Bali's Udayana University , Ketut Sundra, has revealed that 6 beaches in the southern part of the island are polluted with unacceptable levels of nitrates, nitrites, phosphate, cadmium and lead found in samples of water taken from Kuta, Legian, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Benoa and Canggu beaches. Sundra said that while the affected beaches are officially polluted, the level of contamination remains light.

Reported by beritabali.com, The Jakarta Globe and Tempo Interaktif Sundra said: "On the average the pollution fits into the category of light to medium contamination, with the pollutant matter liable to breakdown and transform into other substances."

The Jakarta Globe reports that the samples of water used in the survey were taken from the waters during both the rainy and dry season, tested 19 parameters and were taken over a two-year period in 2008-2009.

"Kuta, Legian, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua can be categorized as lightly polluted, while Tanjung Benoa and Canggu are moderately polluted," he said
The researcher added that the pollution of the six beach areas was due to the poor handling of waste water generated by the tourism industry's hotel, restaurants and sea tourism enterprises. He also warned that if this matter is not handled soon, he is concerned that pollution levels will only worsen.

Earlier studies reported by the head of the Environmental Control Agency for Badung, I Gede Putra Suteja, confirmed the presence of E-coli bacteria in the ocean waters off Kuta beach and Nusa Dua at levels scientifically considered to be low to medium.

Salt Water Intrusion

Another Udayana scientist, environmental hydrology sepecialist Nyoman Sunarta, also told The Jakarta Globe that salt water intrusion into Bali's water table was occurring at an alarming rate. He cited how in 1995 intrusion had reached 5 kilometers inland at a depth of 70 meters. Now, 15 years later the situation has become worse.

The biologist predicts that by the year 2015 Bali will start to feel the effects of a large clean-water deficit. This lack of water is seen in the amount of unproductive paddy fields in Bali's south and the conversion of those productive lands to residential purposes.