BAGUIO CITY – The city government and the municipal government of La Trinidad must already spearhead efforts to plug illegal sewer connections along the Balili river as part of the overall efforts to help save the major river system and mandate residential and commercial structure owners to appropriately dispose their waste.
During the recent meeting of the Balili River rehabilitation coalition, Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said there must be a joint technical committee that will be created in order to conduct the required inspection of the illegal sewer connections to the river system and subsequently plug the same so that those who unscrupulously dispose of their waste to the river will suffer the consequences of their illegal actions.
“We have to start somewhere in order to send the message to the people that we mean business in our efforts to revive the Balili river and improve its water quality. It is high time that those who have been unscrupulously dumping their waste to the river system must be taught their lessons,” Domogan stressed.
He pointed out much have been said about the state of the Balili river and numerous plans and programs were proposed to be undertaken in order to improve the water quality of the river but erring residents of Baguio and La Trinidad continued to dump their liquid and solid wastes to the river that contributed to its deterioration over the past several years.
Aside from plugging the illegal sewer connections to the river system, another proposed intervention in order to significantly reduce the volume of garbage being dumped by undisciplined people along the river system is the installation of screens in the boundary of the city and La Trinidad in order to screen the garbage being washed down the river among other purposes.
The Balili River Rehabilitation Task Force is a multi-agency organization tasked to craft and synchronize the implementation of various interventions that would save the major river system from dying because of the huge volume of garbage being dumped into the river by residential and commercial structure owners.
For the past several years, thousands of volunteers from different agencies and non-government organizations were able to extract tons of garbage that were illegally dumped not only in the major river system but also from its tributaries during a series of massive cleanup activities.
Balili river strands from the various tributaries from the different parts of the city, flows down to the capital town of La Trinidad and spillsover to Sablan and down to the Naguilian river in the province of La Union.
Mayor Domogan cited residential and commercial establishment owners who know from the start that they have been dumping their waste to the river system through illegal sewer connections must already voluntarily remove such connections and connect with the city’s sewer system or else they will suffer the consequences of being plugged in the coming months.
He admitted the task to plug the illegal sewer connections would be tedious but it should already be done the soonest in order to significantly contribute in the revival of the river system from its current state of being heavily polluted and having a very low classification of its water.