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Making it Crystal Clear in Bali

Bali Threatening Tough Action Against Hotels and Businesses Polluting Bali's Beaches.

(5/7/2011) According to the Bali Post, at least 13 beaches in Bali are said to be polluted by discharge sourced to hotels and other coastal enterprises.

Determined to make Bali "green and clean," Bali's governor Made Mangku Pastika has threatened he will not hesitate to close hotels and other enterprises proven to be discharging untreated sewage into the sea. Pastika made the threat at a meeting with the Bali Environmental Agency (BLH) reviewing the state of the 13 polluted beaches. That meeting surfaced the long-held suspicion that there are many hotels and other businesses in Bali who discharge untreated sewage into the ocean. Said Pastika: "We will soon take action against these polluting practices. If it is proven that they are discharging sewage into the ocean this means these companies are breaking the law and can be criminally charged."

Surveys conducted by the BLH-Bali on water samples made in 2010 found indications of pollution on 13 beaches in Bali. Most of the polluted beaches are located in the southern part of the island where the largest concentration of hotels can be found. Researchers specifically cited the pollutions levels encountered on Sanur and Kuta beach in Bali's south, Soka beach in the west at Tabanan and Candidasa on the island east coast.

Anak Agung Alit Sastrawan, the chief of BLH-Bali confirmed that chemical oxygen demand (COD) and biological oxygen demand (BOD) levels on several beaches exceeded a level of 7 parts per million (ppm) considered a normal reading. BLH-Bali also recorded evidence of raised levels of Nitrate (NO2) and Nitrite (NO3).

Sastrawan underlined that the level of pollution on the 13 subject beaches was still within levels considered safe for swimming and other activities with the levels of pollutants constantly subject to dynamic changes in water conditions. Explained Sastrawan: "It's still safe. What's more the condition is not permanent because it is in the nature of seawater to be dynamic. Every minute it changes because of the movements of the oceans. At low tide the levels (of pollutants) can be high, but at high tide the levels can return to normal."