By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has expressed optimism that the sewage interceptor and treatment plant located in front of the Manila Yacht Club will be operational by June or July.
“We are now testing the treatment plant on a 24-hour period to slowly bring down [the Manila Bay’s] coliform level to its standard level,” Secretary Roy Cimatu said in a virtual presser on June 10, Wednesday.
The standard coliform level for coastal waters, which is safe for swimming and other similar recreational activities, is at only 100 most probable number per 100 milliliter (mpn/100ml).
Cimatu said the project contractor has committed to completing the construction of the treatment facility by June or July this year. A solar panel is just being installed to provide continuous electricity for the sewage treatment plant.
The facility, which is capable of treating 500,000 liters of wastewater per day, will ensure that no untreated wastewater from the three major drainage outfalls flows into the Manila Bay, the DENR chief said.
These outfalls are the Padre Faura outfall, Rajah Soliman/Remedios drainage outfall across Aristrocrat Restaurant, and Manila Yacht Club outfall.
Even before the completion of the project, the DENR on January reported that fecal coliform count at the Padre Faura outfall was down to 920,000 mpn/100ml from its pre-rehab record of 7.21 million mpn/100ml.
From 35 million mpn/100ml recorded before the rehabilitation began, the coliform level at the Rajah Soliman/Remedios drainage outfall went down to 11 million mpn/100ml.
The coliform level at the Manila Yacht Club outfall was 54 million mpn/100ml from a high of 110 million mpn/100ml.
Cimatu also said that the construction of a bay walk that is 100 meters wide and 60 meters long is ongoing at the beachfront.