Friday, June 10, 2016

Wastewater treatment plant, now must for big businesses

TAGBILARAN CITY, June 8 (PIA)--It might not be long before the establishment of a waste water treatment plant for big commercial and industrial establishments become mandatory.

This as Tagbilaran City local officials led by Mayor John Geesnell Yap III and the City Council pushed for a proposed ordinance amending portions of the Environmental Management Code to the City.

Among other additional provisions, the amendment mandates that big commercial and industrial establishments discharging over 5 cubic meters of wastewater which could not comply with the current environment standards, to build their waste water treatment facility.

That, or the city would have the legal right to refuse giving a business permit.

Inting told those who attended the public hearing on the proposal at the Jjs Seafoods Village, June 7, 2016, that the city is to build a central wastewater facility near the present common outfall facing the port of Tagbilaran. He however did not elaborate on the plan. 

The move, according to the ordinance amendment author Bebiano Inting and sponsor Dulce Glovasa solves the problem of land based sources of pollution which can be hazardous to health, cause food contamination, loss of biodiversity and degradation of coastal waters.

The amendments, which also requires the establishment of Water Quality Management Area (WQMA) in line with the Clean Water Act, allows the City to enter into a memorandum with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the enforcement of measures to immediately stop water pollution.

The passing of the ordinance amendment would immediately prohibit direct wastewater discharge from commercial and industrial establishments to groundwater and water aquifers through sinkholes, caves, unless the proper government agency allows it as suitable.

It would also ban the water discharge to any traditional depression area dumping sites as this could transport pollutants to groundwater aquifers, which is also sourced out to respond to the city drinking water requirements.

Big commercial and industrial establishments however whose discharge complies with the DENR Department Administrative Order 35 which has less than 50 milligrams per liter (ml/L) biochemical oxygen demand, below 100 ml/L chemical oxygen demand, below 70 ml/L total suspended solids, below 5 mg/L oil and grease, acidity level of between 6.5-9, below 150 platinum cobalt units and a total coliform content  of below 10,000 MPN/100mL with special Discharge Permits from DENR can drain their wastewater in the drainage which constitute the city's sewerage.

The new ordinance, when passed, now also opens the City ordinance C-205 which initially regulated the drainage system along CPG and VP Inting Street as solely for storm water, absolutely banning clean domestic and industrial water in it.

The City Council however later knew that the ordinance is unenforceable as it assumed the mandated power of the DENR and is not aligned with the Clean Water Act.

The City Council has however noted that the growing population has a basic water need for 10 million liters per day, which shall become wastewater without a wastewater treatment facility  and a centralized waste water treatment needed to protect its surface water, marine and ground water.


With this, the amended ordinance which delves on the city's environmental management code  section 89 paragraph 7, a discharge permit now becomes necessary for businesses to discharge their treated and untreated water, or they pay a compromise penalty of P3,000 plus P200 per day of violation if the violation is not corrected within 30 days. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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