E-Coli Bacteria Found in Karangasem’s Public Water Supply
Following laboratory tests conducted on the Karangasem Water Works System (PDAM-Karangasem), the presence of E-Coli bacteria has been confirmed as present in the water supply of the regency. The tests were conducted at 7 different water sources in Karangasem with 6 of those locations yielding positive results for E-Coli bacteria.
E-Col (Escherichia coli) is a bacterium present in the lower intestines of humans and animals. The contamination of E-Coli in food and water supplies is often linked to food poisoning. Quoted by Radar Bali, the head of the Karangasem Health Department, IGM Tirtayana, confirmed positive E-Coli results from 6 of 7 test points. 4 of the positive test points were located in the sub-district of Subagan, with the remaining 2 in the sub-district of Padangkerta.
Tests conducted on the water supply at the sub-district of Jeruk Manis were negative for the E-Coli bacteria. Only one test water sources – a public water source in Subagan – was not part of the PDAM water distribution network. The tests were made following a recent increase in the number of diarrhea cases in the regency. Karangasem officials have ordered PDAM officials in Karangasem to immediately take steps to eliminate E-Coli bacteria from the public water supply.
In response, Tirtayana said the test results are not proof of the presence of E-Coli bacteria in the entire PDAM water network in Karangasem and the areas tested are only from sources fed by water from Tirtagangga. Furthermore, the Regency’s man in charge of public health countered that the current increase in diarrhea cases in his area might also be caused by food contamination aided by the amounts of dust in the atmosphere due to the continuing dry spell in North and East Bali.
Tirtayana urged the public to always boil water from taken from the PDAM water system for 15 minutes before being used for human consumption. Meanwhile, officials of PDAM Karangasem have called into question the veracity of the water tests confirming the presence of E-Coli bacteria in the local water supply. PDAM officials insist they were not involved in the initial sampling and retest have been ordered and undertaken by PDAM.
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