by Mandy Lim Pei Mun
Today is another fruitful day for me. I really love the activities we had. We visited a senior high school which was situated quite far away from the city. We departed early at 6.30 am because the journey took us an hour to reach the school for ‘tree planting’ activity, harvesting of ‘semanggi’ which is a traditional Surabaya vegetable (it looks exactly like four-leaf-clover), and releasing of catfish into a few ponds. All the students were so polite, cooperative, and helpful. The school is situated in a swampy area where the soil is clayey and there are some paddy fields nearby. There are lots of mosquitoes too since the area has pools of water everywhere. I was attacked by mosquitoes during the tree-planting activity and the student was so kind to borrow me her track-bottom; shielding my legs from anymore bites from the mosquitoes.
Next we took off to the park where the ‘prince and princess’ contestants are camped. They spend their night here and by the look of their actions; they are very motivated with the competition. We departed by bus to the waste water treatment plant. This treatment plant provides clean water to the east Surabaya residents after it is treated.
This is the process of the water treatment before it is safe for consumption. However we are advised to boil the water before we consume it because the distribution pipes are old and rusty.
1. First is preliminary treatment which involves aeration and sedimentation.
2. Then the water is chemically treated to enhance the removal of colloidal material through flocculation and coagulation.
3. The water is then left to settle for sedimentation.
4. Filtration takes place to remove the excess particulate material which is not removed during the earlier treatment.
5. Lastly the water is disinfected with chlorine and is stored in a reservoir for distribution.
Afterward we went back to the park again by bus. The mayor’s wife came over to give some motivation, inspiration, and education to the contestants while I’m here typing down my report under a nice three in the park. Though this is just a short day compare to the other days we had but this day will be a meaningful one for me. This is my first exposure to the water treatment plant and my first tree planting involvement.