Indonesia: Alcohol Waste Pollutes Water, Environment
Waste from the traditional Javanese alcoholic drink “ciu” is contaminating the Bengawan Solo River in Surakarta, Central Java, killing fish and disrupting the area’s clean water supply for residents.
The alleged polluter is a factory located next to the Samin Stream, which flows into the Bengawan Solo River. This is the third instance of liquor waste pollution reported in the area, according to Water and Waste Digest reporting.
“Ciu” is a local adaptation of Chinese wine, made from cider molasses of sugarcane. “Ciu” is often produced informally. In 2016, the Jakarta Post ran a story with a photo gallery depicting how “ciu” is made.
The alcohol waste has disrupted Surakarta’s Semanggi water treatment installation (IPA) of Pasar Kliwon subdistrict, per reports from the Jakarta Post. The alcohol pollution is forcing the IPA to fully halt operations at its three intake points, namely Semanggi, Jebres and Jurug. During the time of interrupted operations, water from the river could not be treated.
The water in the Bengawan Solo River has changed color to pitch black and has reeked of alcohol since Friday,” Semanggi intake guard Purnomo said, per Jakarta Post.
As a result, clean water supply for the residents was disrupted. City-owned drinking water company Toya Wening decided to provide water with tanker trucks.
Purnomo said this was the worst case of contamination Java’s longest river had experienced in 2019. It is believed that the liquid waste had flowed from the Samin River into Sukoharjo regency.