SANGATTA – During the big flood in Sangatta City on March 18-20, 2022, PT Kaltim Prima Coal (KPC) ensured that the mine’s water output remained below the government’s threshold. The threshold compliance includes parameters for quality standards, as well as the quality and discharge of water from the KPC mine.
This was conveyed by Wawan Setiawan, GM External Affairs and Sustainable Development, in response to the hoax news that the Sangatta flood was caused by the collapse of the KPC mining pond embankment.
“We ensure that mining water is still managed in accordance with the required rules, including quality standards and water quality, as well as discharge water output to the river as the receiving body. The East Kutai Environmental Service has verified this, and samples have been collected at the KPC mining pool compliance point for laboratory testing “Thursday (23/3/2022), Wawan said.
Similarly, Wawan revealed that the discharge of water to the Sangatta river is still up to standard. For example, PSS Bendili Pond, where the maximum discharge that is allowed to come out is 10.56 m3/second, but during the flood on March 18-20 2022, the discharge that comes out is only 5.05 m3/second. Others in the J Void pool, the discharge that is allowed to come out is 15.6 m3/second, but when it’s flooded it only comes out as much as 6.12 m3/second.
Wawan further explained that the KPC mine catchment area only accounts for 6.06 percent of the total area of the Sangatta watershed. So that the contribution to the formation of water volume from KPC disturbed areas to the Sangatta river is also relatively small.
“What is certain is that all water catchment areas at the KPC mine are accommodated in licensed settling ponds, and treatment for the quality and quantity of the water is carried out before it is discharged into the river,” he said.
For the Sangatta watershed, continued Wawan, there are seven ponds where all of the quality standards, water quality and discharge meet the pond permit quality standards; namely the Marsawa Pool, Cempaka, PSS, Melawai 2, WQ27D, WQ27F, WQ33. All of these pools were operating normally when the flood occurred and none of the water structures broke down like the issues that developed on social media.
Wawan went on to say that on March 18-20, 2022, two conditions triggered major flooding in the Sangatta watershed. Specifically, very high rainfall of up to 167 mm per day, with high tides of more than 2.5 meters.
This prevented the heavy rain water from flowing into the sea and flooded along the border of the Sangatta river. “Our observation at the PSS Bendili outlet is that the water from the Sangatta river enters the Bendili river and is held for a long time, so it doesn’t flow out, so the volume is bigger than usual,” he said.
Then the assumption that the KPC’s opening area is very likely to increase the volume of water going to the river and cause flooding when it rains, is not true. Wawan straightened that all rainwater that fell into KPC’s open areas had been accommodated in settling ponds and controlled for both water quality and quantity.
In addition to managing mine water, KPC also carries out progressive reclamation of ex-mining land. Of the 32,542 hectares of mined land, 13,267 hectares or 40.77 percent have been reclaimed. “Since 2014, the area of KPC’s reclamation target has always been above 1000 hectares,” he told TribunKaltim.co.
Lastly, there are currently more than 27 thousand KPC employees and contractors, and if you add their families, the total is around 81 thousand people. The majority of employees live in Sangatta and Bengalon, which also consume water from the Sangatta and Bengalon Rivers.
“For that, we maintain the water quality of Sangatta and Bengalon as well as take care of our families and ourselves,” he said