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 Eight rivers in Gorontalo polluted with hazardous substances

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BerichtOnderwerp: Eight rivers in Gorontalo polluted with hazardous substances    Eight rivers in Gorontalo polluted with hazardous substances  Icon_minitimedi 19 maa 2013 - 6:29

, The Jakarta Post, Gorontalo Tue, March 19 2013,

Eight rivers located in regencies and municipalities across Gorontalo province have been polluted with hazardous inorganic chemical substances. Some of them are so heavily polluted their water is undrinkable.

The head of Gorontalo administration’s Information Technology, Research and Environment Agency, Nontje Lakadjo, said the eight rivers polluted with dangerous chemicals comprised the Andagile Atinggola, Biyonga, Bolango, Bone, Buladu, Paguyaman, Randangan and Taluduyunu rivers.

“Three out of eight rivers, namely Bone, Paguyaman, and Randangan, are the main river basin areas that Gorontalo residents depend on for their water resources,” said Nontje.

According to the 2012 Gorontalo environmental status report, water pollution levels in those eight rivers vary. The water-quality monitoring process in each river was conducted in three spots: the upper reaches, central part and lower course of the river.

Several points in the Bone’s upper, central and lower course measured moderate levels of pollution in which the water pollutant parameters had not yet exceeded the maximum levels considered safe. Mercury levels at sites on the Bone were detected at 0.001 milligram per liter while the maximum permissible level is 0.002 milligram per liter. Meanwhile, the cyanide level found in the Bone was 0.01 milligram per liter.

The two hazardous chemical substances found in the Bone allegedly came from illegal gold mining activities around the Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park (TNBNW) from which mine waste containing mercury and cyanide was released into the river.

Despite its water pollutant levels still being below the maximum permissible level, Nontje said that ensuring water quality in the Bone was a must because the 119.13 kilometers-long river was the main water source for the Gorontalo tap water company (PDAM).

Similarly, essential water safety treatment is also needed for the Paguyaman River which cuts across the Gorontalo and Boalemo regencies. Mercury and cyanide were also found in the 99.3-kilometer-long river although they were below the maximum permissible levels.

A moderate level of pollutants has also been monitored in the Randangan River which flows to Central Sulawesi. A large amount of illegal gold mining activities using mercury and cyanide currently take place in the Paguyaman and Randangan rivers.

Head of the environment agency, Rugaya Biki, added that two out of eight rivers in Gorontalo, namely the Adagile Atinggola and Buladu rivers, were heavily contaminated with inorganic chemical substances and their water was undrinkable

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