Bandung – BRIN Public Relations. Water supply in Indonesia is increasingly decreasing in line with growing number of population, decreasing number of raw water sources, and environmental pollution. One area that is currently experiencing clean water crisis is North Jakarta. Researcher from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) Dr. rer. nat. Neni Sintawardani offers an alternative solution to the clean water crisis in the form of composting toilet. This was conveyed during an interview for the Trans7 OMG Program, Tuesday (8/3).

Neni explained that the clean water crisis that hit some areas in North Jakarta requires quick and sustainable handling. According to her, the government has actually carried out water supply programs, one of which is through the piping service by the Regional Drinking Water Company (PDAM) or a designated drinking water company. However, the clean water crisis in North Jakarta, such as in Penjaringan, requires breakthrough solutions because it has been going on for quite a long time.

“The sea water reverse osmosis (SWRO)-based water treatment installation program may or may have been carried out in North Jakarta area. Similar program works well in Kepulauan Seribu region and can meet the daily needs of the local community,” she said.

Neni also observed the possibility of changes in the pattern of water use in the community due to the crisis. She remembers vividly water shortage that hit the Gunung Kidul area around 1985. The people used to harvest rainwater. They collected rainwater and used it as a source of clean water.

“Drilling for groundwater can be a short-term solution indeed, but according to the local government regulation this activity has already been prohibited,” said Neni, explaining that the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government has enacted Governor Regulation Number 93 of 2021 on use of groundwater.

In general, Indonesian people, said Neni, are very dependent on water but sometimes they tend to be wasteful. Based on her study in Kiaracondong, Bandung City, the average need for water used for defecation and urination only reaches 40%, excluding for drinking water. “If water is not managed properly, it will become a world problem,” said Neni.

Water Treatment Solution

Composting toilets are able to process human waste into fertilizer and liquid fertilizer. Neni explained that this tool is designed as a flush toilet so that the direction of disposal and cleanliness can be maintained. The separator system allows urine to be separated from feces, and it does not require a lot of water. While conventional toilets require around 40 litters per day to rinse and flush, composting toilets only need 5 litters of water per day.

“On the one hand, the technology is very promising, the environment can handle the problem of dirt, and reduce use of clean water. The composting toilet technology promoted by BRIN can be an attractive solution to overcome the clean water crisis that occurs not only in North Jakarta but also in other areas,” she added.

With regard to the impact of water crisis; in which the water quality is foamy and smelly, Neni said that the water may have been contaminated. Smell is an indication of contaminants which can be dirt entering or seeping into waterways. This is dangerous if consumed by the public. “Currently the most possible water treatment to apply is Reverse Osmosis,” she said.

The government has set water quality standard in Government Regulation no. 82 of 2001. This quality standard consists of class 1 to class 4. There are 3 main parameters to determine water quality, namely: the physical parameters such as color, taste, smell, temperature; the chemical parameters such as pH, hardness, dissolved metals; and biological parameters such as total coliform and Escherichia coli.

According to Neni, the sea water in the area around Penjaringan is quite dirty, which needs comprehensive response. Neni hopes that the current water crisis can be resolved soon. She encourages the relevant water suppliers to resolve the problem. “This should be protected by the government,” she concluded. (AS/ ed. KG)