Tap water provided by the state-owned Regional Water Company (PDAM) in Klungkung regency is contaminated with the potentially deadly E. coli virus, according to officials from the Bali Health Department.
Ministry head Dr Nyoman Sutedja told reporters on Monday that every one of 16 routine samples collected from Klungkung in the past decade had showed contamination with E. coli, which can cause severe intestinal problems, and can be fatal for the elderly, young children or those with pre-existing health problems.
He warned consumers to be particularly careful not to consume unboiled or untreated water in the regency.
“We don’t yet know the cause of the contamination of the PDAM water in Klungkung, but contamination can be caused by things such as punctures in pipes which can allow unsterilised water to enter the supply,” he said, adding that the department had sent an official warning to PDAM’s Klungkung branch instructing them to take measures to improve the quality of water in the regency.
Gede Darsana, spokesman for the water company in Klungkung, said he was surprised by the results of the tests, and called their accuracy into question.
“We feel that the water is unpolluted because every month we do our own tests and the results show zero percent contamination. If it really was polluted then the hospitals would always be full of people suffering from diarrhoea after drinking our water,” he said, adding that the company would nonetheless cooperate with the department.
PDAM has 21,000 registered consumers in Klungkung, and the regency uses on average 70 litres of tap water a second.Filed under: Headlines