Friday, October 21, 2016

Work on septage treatment facility in Legazpi City begins 1st quarter of 2017
By Emmanuel P. Solis

LEGAZPI CITY, Oct. 21 (PNA) -- The Legazpi City government will start construction of a septage treatment facility (STF) in the first quarter of 2017 to comply with national laws aiming to protect and preserve the country’s marine waters.

“The project will serve as an effective tool to protect water resources and prevent contamination and pollution from the wastes of septic tanks,” Mayor Noel Rosal said Friday.

He said the STF will be located at the upper portion of the southern side of the city--in Sitio (sub-village) Caridad, Barangay (village) Banquerohan.

The facility will occupy a two-hectare land adjacent to the city’s “Engineered Sanitary Landfill” that was funded by the AECID (Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation).

Rosal said the treatment facility project falls under the city’s Comprehensive Septage and Waste Water Treatment Facility program.

He said the program complies with the implementation of Republic Act 9275 or the Philippine Clean Air Act of 2004, PD 198 or the Water District Law, PD 856 or the Sanitation Code of the Philippines and RA 7160 or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

“All local government units are mandated to pursue a policy for the protection and preservation of marine waters,” said Rosal.

He said the STF project was conceived after the city Legislative Council enacted Ordinance No. 0025-2015 in 2015 that provides for a septage management program to ensure the “right to a balanced ecology and safe health” of the people in the community.

The ordinance requires all households, subdivisions, establishments and government offices to have their own septic tanks with a water tank that has “no leaching compartment.”

Rosal said the septic tank must be located at least 25 meters from any well with an access port for de-sludging.

He said the city administration will require all septic tank owners to de-sludge their own septic tanks every three to five years with the waste removed from the septic tanks to be transported to the STF.

The city administration and the Legazpi City Water District (LCWD) will enter into a memorandum of agreement for an additional P80 monthly to be included in the water billing of its residential consumers while P250 will be collected from establishments.

Rosal said the sludge and septage collected from the septic tanks will undergo a process using the STF with the treated waste deposited to the nearby sanitary landfill or applied to agricultural and forest lands as organic fertilizer.

The ordinance said violators will be penalized with fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 and prison terms of five days to 30 days. (PNA) LAP/GVR/EPS/RSM