Today, I learnt how to do water testing with the water testing kit here at Tunas Hijau. The testing kit tests the turbidity, the pH level and the oxygen level of the water. We tested three different water sources around Tunas Hijau, two of which produced similar results. The turbidity of the tests were all the same at 40 JTU. Turbidity of the water indicates how clear the water is, clearer water does not mean clean water. In the same way that very turbid water maybe clean. Some the reasons for water to become turbid is if there is a lot of bottom feeding fish or if there is soil erosion that is occurring near the water supply.
The second test conducted was the pH level of the test samples, again all three samples become a green colour indicating the pH level to be 7. The pH of the water should be around 7 because that is neutral, if the pH is higher the water becomes more basic and if the pH if lower than the water becomes more acidic. Aquatic organisms are dependant on water remaining a certain pH and are very sensitive to change in the pH levels and a change as little as 2 on the pH scale can kill fish and plants.
The final test was the dissolved oxygen test, this test produced two different results in the three samples. Two of the samples contained 4 ppm (parts per million) and the other sample was 0 ppm of oxygen. Many aquatic organisms need oxygen to survive, by having rotting plants or large amounts of bacteria in the water it lowers the available oxygen for them. The oxygen level of water depends on the time of the day and the temperature because at different times and different temperatures the amount of bacteria will vary.
Looking at the results, one could assume that two of the three samples would be considered safe or clean. However, of the three samples none of them are clean. The water was from the ditches and likely is not suitable for animals let alone humans. The test does give you idea of the water situation in the area tested, however, it is not all encompassing and should not be taking as such.
We also visited the elementary school, SDK Kristus Raja Surabaya, today to help them with their harvest of their peanuts. They were harvesting peanuts from their garden beside the school. The garden was quiet large and contained many different plants some of which were: rosella, eggplant, mango tree, banana tree and many others. It was the first time I harvested peanuts and it was fun, it was also impressive to see a school in downtown Surabaya harvesting vegetables.
The garden for the school is good teaching tool because it allows for the students to understand how they can produce their own food and teaches them about the environment. I then toured the school and saw their compost which they use to fertilize their plants. I also saw the environment murals that they painted and use to promote respecting the environment. It was very nice to see students taking an interest in having the environment and to see how much fun they had while harvesting.