EMB-CAR commends Baguio’s water quality projects

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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) commended the local government for the simultaneous implementation of various programs and projects geared towards effectively and efficiently addressing the issues on water quality of a number of river systems and its existing 32-year old sewerage treatment plant purposely aimed at improving the water quality in the bodies of water emanating from the different parts of the city.

EMB-CAR Regional Director Reynaldo S. Digamo said that one of the important interventions having been put in place by the local government is the proposed 5-year rehabilitation and upgrading of the city’s sewerage treatment plant located in North Sanitary Camp to increase its carrying capacity from its current treatment capacity of 8,600 cubic meters to over 24,000, cubic meters of waste water daily after the prescribed period.

Currently, the Baguio sewerage treatment plant is reportedly overloaded after being infused some over 12,000 cubic meters of waste water from the existing sewerage connections daily compared to its absorptive capacity of at least 8,600 cubic meters of waste water daily.

Based on the compliance action plan submitted by the local government to the EMB-CAR, the local government will spend a total of P336 million purposely to rehabilitate and upgrade its main sewerage treatment facility aside from putting in place short-term interventions that will help in treating the waste water being fed to the plant and comply with the water quality standards of the water being discharged to the Balili River.

The EMB-CAR official also commended the local government’s plan to put up a separate sewerage treatment plant within the vicinity of the city’s abattoir to treat the waste water being generated by the facility and the public market before being discharged to the Balili River considering that the existing sewerage treatment plant in North Sanitary Camp is not actually capable of treating the waste water from the two major facilities of the city.

Digamo claimed that the local government’s plan to put up a sewerage treatment plant within the City Camp area will definitely contribute in significantly reducing the direct connection being done by residents of their waste water to existing bodies of water that serve s tributaries to major river systems in the different parts of the city and will help in lessening the pollutants in the waste water that will translate to improved water quality of the said bodies of water around the city.

He claimed the aggressive implementation of programs and projects of the Balili River Revitalization Coalition is also a giant step towards empowering residents to police their own ranks and allow their waste water discharge to pass through the required septic tanks that connect to the existing sewerage treatment plant and not to discriminately discharge the same to existing bodies of water within their communities which will be detrimental to the quality of water in existing creeks, streams and rivers flowing onwards neighboring localities.

Digamo reiterated his earlier recommendations to the local government for the City Building Official not to issue building permits to houses and residents that do not have provisions of a septic tank or a sewerage treatment plant that will help in lessening pollutants being discharged to the existing water systems in the different parts of the city to help improve water quality for the benefit of the present and future generation of inhabitants.

By Dexter A. See

Banner Photo by: Armando M. Bolislis

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