President holds cabinet meeting, septic tank overflows... Yuck!

Source – March 20, 2007
President Yudhoyono holds cabinet meeting at Presidential Palace (Tempo)
President Yudhoyono holds cabinet meeting at Presidential Palace (Tempo)

Luhur Hertanto, Jakarta – Like any other ordinary household, the Presidential Palace also faces common problems that affect other homes. One of these is when the septic tank overflows.

This is what befell one of the septic tanks at the State Palace Complex in Jakarta on Tuesday March 20. Strongly suspected of being over loaded, the septic tank disgorged its contents out onto the ground. Yuck...

Admittedly there wasn’t that much of it, but it was enough to cause staff to run helter-skelter trying to clean up the “load” that had spilled out.

Understand, the problematic septic tank is located behind the presidential offices and the overflow occurred in the middle of a cabinet plenary meeting being chaired by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

“Apparently the septic tank’s capacity was too small, it should have been emptied more regularly”, was the analysis put forward by one of the cleaning staff.

Together with a college, they rushed to clean up the rear corridors of the presidential offices that were inundated with the muck. One person sprayed the floors while another pushed the water out with a broom.

The flooded corridor is a used as smoking area for guards from the presidential security detail and ministerial assistants. As they waited for the cabinet meeting to end, they smoked or drank coffee while chatting with journalists.

The septic tank is located under a small open room between the musholla (small room set aside in a public place for performance of religious duties) and an air-conditioning machine room that also doubles as a storeroom.

According to information obtained by, the last time the septic tank was emptied was around one-and-a-half years ago. Perhaps because the activities at the presidential offices have been so intense over that period, the septic tank filled up very quickly.

So it turns out that the septic tanks at the State Palace and ordinary households... yeah... well it’s the same old problem right... (lh/sss)

[Translated by James Balowski.]