Water acidity of Banjarmasin River increases drastically

BANJARMASIN, S Kalimantan: The government of Banjarmasin stated that the level of acidity of river water in the city has recently increased dramatically, Antaranews reported.

There is even a point of river area, precisely the Awang River in front of Ansari Saleh Hospital, where the acidity is very concentrated, Assistant II Secretary of Banjarmasin Drs H Hamdi told reporters here on Monday.

Hamdi was speaking while accompanying Deputy Mayor Hermansyah and Secretary Hamdan Kursani in a press conference of two-year Mayor Ibnu Sina and Deputy Mayor of Hermansyah leadership at City Hall.

According to Hamdi, a study on river water in front of the hospital showed the pH (potential of hydrogen) level is only three, far from the ideal level of 7, means very acidic.

Banjarmasin’s peat areas are high in acidity but should stay within tolerable limits. Seeing the reality now to pH three means something is wrong with the environment.

Hamdi estimates that the high level of acidity cannot be separated from the exploitation of peatlands around Banjarmasin, such as for oil palm, paddy field, and housing development.

Massive peatland clearance in Banjarmasin and surrounding areas is what causes a very acidic pyrite layer of peat soil to come out everywhere and accumulate in the Awang River.

With the level of acidity as that concentrated, then the river water is not deserved either to drink, even for fish life.

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