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New Report Reveals Obi Mining Spring Water is Safe to Drink

12 April 2023

The issue of raw water quality was raised in the area of Obi Island residents in South Halmahera, North Maluku, which is located next to a mining area and nickel refining operations. Residents on Obi Island, especially Kawasi Village, has been relying on the springs around this mine for their livelihood.

This spring, Kawasi, located in a small valley, percisely on the lower slope of the Harita Group's smelter buildings.

CNBC Indonesia and other media visited this spring on Saturday (8/4/2023). The company's management emphasized that they continue to carry out the regular monitoring for the spring water quality, where it is tested once a month at an independent laboratory in Manado City.

The Harita team also conducted a rapid test on a water sample from Kawasi Spring. The results showed that the groundwater in the Obi Island mining area residents is very safe to consume. The test results indicate that the pH level, water temperature, turbidity, and oxygen levels all fall within acceptable ranges.

Mata air kawasi pulau obi 2 169

To further ascertain the quality of the Kawasi spring, based on the Certificate of Analysis whose report was requested by CNBC Indonesia and sent by the independent laboratory WLN Indonesia, regarding samples of the spring in Kawasi, Obi Island, on Tuesday (11/4/2023), the following data was revealed:

  • The in-situ pH result is 7.87, which falls within the government-set threshold of 6.5-8.5.
  • Chromium Hexavalent (Cr-VI) is less than 0.005 mg/l, which is well below the government-set threshold of 0.05 mg/l.

This refers to the Minister of Health Regulation No. 32 of 2017 regarding the Standard Quality of Environmental Health and Health Requirements for Water for Hygiene and Sanitation, Swimming Pools, Solus Per Aqua, and Public Baths.

The Dean of  Fisheries and Marine Sciences Faculty at Khairun University, M. Janib Achmad, explained that both rapid testing and laboratory analysis of water samples taken from the Kawasi Springs showed that the water quality was safe and suitable for consumption.

"The pH level of drinking water should be above 7, and if it's higher, that's even better. If the water is too acidic, algae will grow," said Janib to CNBC Indonesia on Wednesday (12/4/2023).

According to Janib, if the level of Chromium Hexavalent (Cr-VI) is still low, then it is very safe. Usually, the level of Cr is related to the soil layer as almost every soil contains chromium, which can be harmful if it exceeds the limit.

"It is still safe to drink the spring water. The people use it in Kawasi, although they often complain about sediment that covers the spring," he said.

He emphasized that there are several parameters that determine the suitability of consumable water, including its physical appearance (such as clarity), temperature (which affects the oxygen content), and chemical parameters like acidity. These factors all contribute to the water's suitability for consumption.

Source: CNBC

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