Water utility says no untreated wastewater flowing into Boracay beach

Boy Ryan B. Zabal
Water utility says no untreated wastewater flowing into Boracay beach
Boracay Tubi System says it has complied with the water quality and effluent standards set by DENR

AKLAN, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has lifted its cease and desist order on Boracay Tubi System (BTSI) after the water utility complied with the water quality and effluent standards set by the government.

BTSI reassured the public there was no direct discharging of untreated wastewater to the open sea by the water utility.

In its website BTSI describes itself as operating “a complete waterworks system with septage management in the island of Boracay.”

Nais naming ibalik ang pagtitiwala at ipaaabot sa lahat na naglilinis kami ng aming tinatapon na treated wastewater at patuloy tayong magcomply sa standards ng DENR. Ang outfall ay operational at tuloy-tuloy sa ngayon. Kailangan gumamit din kami ng mga chemicals para maayos ang discharge ng treated wastewater sa outfall,” BTSI general manager Jojo Tagpis said.

(We assure the public that we only discharge treated wastewater in compliance with the standards set by the DENR. Our outfall is now fully operational. We need to use chemicals to treat the wastewater dsicharged in the outfall.)

A joint sampling with DENR-Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) on BTSI interceptor and outfall was conducted on September 21 to check if it complied with the guidelines of DENR Administrative Order (DAO) 2016-08 on general water effluent standards.

DAO 2016-08 was issued by DENR in compliance with Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 or Republic Act 9275.

Pinasara din ng DENR ang aming gate valve para walang matapon na wastewater doon a outfall. Dahil hindi kami allowed doon magtapon ng mga treated wastewater sa Lugotan outfall, hinakot ng 14 vacuum trucks ang mga discharges ng establishments at dinala ito sa isang lagoon,” Tagpis said.

(DENR ordered the closure of our gate valve to prevent the flow of wastewater through our outfall. Because we are not allowed to let treated wastewater go through our Lugotan outfall, we use 14 vacuum trucks to collect the discharges of establishments and bring these to a lagoon.)

Acting Malay town mayor Frolibar Bautista also hired divers to check the outfall in Bulabog beach.

Last September 24, BTSI said it resolved the issue on its Lugotan outfall which went viral on social media on September 18. A video of a dive shop showed an adult female turtle resting her head in the outfall which was discharging the alleged ‘untreated wastewater’ into the sea.

Tagpis said BTSI also presented its mitigation measures to DENR during a technical conference to comply significantly the effluent quality parameters of DAO 2016-08. The parameters included control for metals, microbiological, physical-chemical and organics.

BTSI is also investigating the possible intrusion and illegal tapping into its 1-km pipeline towards the shoreline connecting to Lugotan outfall.

“We take this incident seriously. All wastewater is treated on site at the individual Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) of establishments. The interceptor and STPs are closely monitored by BTSI, by DENR-EMB and a third party laboratory testing for compliance to the latest DENR standards,” the BTSI said in a statement.  – Rappler.com 

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