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If I Could Put Grime in a Bottle

Official Concerns over the Quality of Bali's Roadside Bottled Water Operators.

(11/13/2010) Beritabali.com reports that checks carried out by the Bali Health Department indicated that the quality of roadside water filtration plants (Air Minum Isi Ulang) in Denpasar is declining in quality. At the same time, on the average the diminished quality of the water produced by these stands still meets minimum standards for human consumption.

The chief of Bali's Health Department, Dr. Nyoman Sutedja, told the press on November 10, 2010, that among the estimated 2,000 roadside water filtration plants operating in Denpasar, most have experienced a decline in the quality of the water they sell to the public. He said the diminishing quality is largely tied to increases in base metals in the water produced, chiefly iron and lead.

Sutedja predicts that the increasing level of metal by-products found in water, such as iron and lead, is resulting from a corresponding decline in source water filtered by the road side vendors. Explained Dr. Sutedja, "the water sources were formerly good, but with the increase in population density the level of pollution has also increased."

Sutedja said his office would increase its scrutiny of roadside water filtration operations in Denpasar as the number of such outlets increases in response to public demand for inexpensive drinking water.