By Madelaine B. Miraflor
Boracay Tubi System Inc. (BTSI), one of the two major water concessionaires operating in the world famous island Boracay, said it is compliant of the government’s effluent standards following the video that surfaced in social media showing yellowish liquid flowing out of the company’s submerged pipe.
This was after the company conducted joint water sampling with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)in one of its interceptors and the water outfall located in Sitio Lugotan.
Owned by the family of businessman Lucio Tan, BTSI is one of the two water concessionaires operating in Boracay, the other one being the Ayala-led Boracay Island Water Company (BIWC).
In a statement, BTSI said since it was informed of a video showing yellowish liquid flowing out of its submerged pipe one kilometer away from the island’s shoreline, it immediately coordinated with the local officials of the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). “In less than 48 hours, BTSI conducted joint sampling with the DENR-EMB at both its interceptor and outfall which showed compliance to effluent standards,” BTSI said.
“We take this incident seriously and wish to reassure the public that there is no direct discharging of untreated wastewater into the open sea. All wastewater is being treated on site at the individual Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) of establishments it serves,” it added.
The firm said it encourages recycling of treated wastewater for irrigation and flushing purposes and any excess goes to its interceptor as a safeguard.
“The individual STPs and interceptor are constantly monitored in-house, by the DENR-EMB, and by third-party laboratory testing firms for compliance to the latest DENR standards,” it further said. Right now, it is currently investigating possible illegal tapping and intrusion into the pipeline leading to the outfall as it traverses a distance of one kilometer towards the shoreline and an additional one kilometer from the shoreline to the outfall.
“Nevertheless, necessary measures have already been put in place to prevent future recurrence. We also welcome the investigation being conducted by DENR on the matter,” the firm said.
BTSI has been operating in Boracay for 20 years. Aside from its treated wastewater recycling program, it also supports the island’s rehabilitation projects, adoption of the biggest wetland in Boracay, planting of 2,500 mangroves in Sitio Lugotan, and sponsoring of the designation of the island as a Water Quality Management Area, among others.