By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu led the inauguration of a sewage interceptor and treatment plant located in front of the Manila Yacht Club in celebration of the first year anniversary of the Manila Bay’s intensive cleanup and rehabilitation.
“The facility, which is capable of treating 500,000 liters of wastewater per day, will ensure that no untreated wastewater from the drainage outfalls flows into the bay,” Cimatu said.
Citing the most recent data from the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), Cimatu said coliform levels from major Manila Bay outfalls have “drastically decreased.”
He said the fecal coliform count at the Padre Faura outfall is now down to 920,000 most probable number per 100 milliliter (mpn/100ml) from its pre-rehab record of 7.21 million mpn/100ml.
From 35 million mpn/100ml recorded before the rehabilitation began, Cimatu said the coliform level at the Raja Soliman/Remedios drainage outfall across Aristocrat Restaurant went down to 11 million mpn/100ml.
The coliform level at the Manila Yacht Club outfall is now 54 million mpn/100ml from a high of 110 million mpn/100ml, the DENR chief noted.
“Even before the construction of this treatment plant, the water quality in the bay is slowly improving.” Cimatu pointed out. “This we credit to the concerted efforts and cooperation of all stakeholders including our estero rangers who are in-charge of the esteros that drain into the Manila Bay.”
He also noted that more sewage treatment plants will be built to catch the untreatable water flowing into the Manila Bay “as we anticipate that our two (water concessionaires Maynilad and Manila Water) will not be able to completely treat the wastewater in Metro Manila” and make it more acceptable for a specific end-use.
“Let us celebrate the first year anniversary of the Battle for the Manila Bay as we look forward to more sustained efforts for each rehabilitation this year,” Cimatu said.