E.coli found in Bali temple water has Gianyar regency focusing on water quality standards

Gianyar health officials are worried about the sanitation of water used at temples for rituals. One of Bali’s most famous temples, Tirta Empul (pictured), features a holy spring. Photo: Maxpixel

Bali’s Gianyar Environmental Agency is examining water quality standards in the regency, focusing especially on water used in traditional rituals after e.coli was found in a sample taken from a temple.

The agency’s head, I Wayan Kujus Pawitra said that most villages in Gianyar are suffering from pollution issues, with a number of rivers being used by residents for sewage channels and dumping grounds. That’s in addition to dumping happening by tourist accommodations, such as hotels, villas, and restaurants, says Pawitra.

“Seeing that this pollution is very difficult to control, we are becoming alarmed about water quality. Especially water used by the community in temples for rituals,” Pawitra told Tribun Bali.

“Because once research showed that temple water in Gianyar contained e. coli bacteria,” he added, though not mentioning the name of the village where, or when, exactly.

Based on the agency’s data, there are 120 temples in Gianyar with water supplies, but e. coli has only been found to affect one of the regency’s villages, says Pawitra.

Residents shouldn’t be worried about water quality for washing and bathing from taps, as it is still standard quality, head of the Technical Service Implementation Unit (UPTD), Putu Diah Mantiasi added.

However, for drinking water, residents are advised to boil water first if taken from the tap.

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