P15.4 million earmarked to study sewage plant expansion

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BAGUIO CITY – More than P15.4 million was earmarked by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to bankroll the conduct of a 6-month study purposely for the expansion of the operation of the Baguio Sewage Treatment Plant (BSTP) and the identification of appropriate technologies for sewage water treatment.

Cordelia C. Lacsamana, City Environment and Parks Management Officer, said by the middle of this month, CIDA and ADB consultants will be arriving in the city to start the study in order to guide the city government on what to do to upgrade the already overloaded BSTP located along the Balili river, particularly in barangay South Sanitary Camp.

“Our sewage treatment plant is already working beyond its prescribed capacity and the timely assistance from the CIDA and ADB will greatly help in guiding the city government on how to undertake the expansion of the plant and what available technologies would be suitable for the continuous operation of the over 30-year old facility,” Lacsamana stressed.

From it supposed regular production of some 8,000 cubic meters of water daily, the plant has reached a daily production of more than 12,000 cubic meters or more than its supposed daily production making the facility over worked because of the rapid growth in the city’s population and the connections to the BSTP.

Aside from the installation of the so-called de-watering machine as one of the stop gap measures to help unburden the BSTP from working over and above its capacity, the consultants will be making their recommendation on how will the city government be able to avail of existing technologies that would reduce the capacity of the plants and prolong its prescribed economic life.

According to her, one of the options to be undertaken by the city government is for the put up of its own septage plant in order to treat water from septic tanks because 63 percent of the BSTP connections are from the septic tanks of residents which should not be the case.

Lacsamana disclosed the city government is looking on ways how to maximize the utilization of the over 10,000 cubic meters of water being produced in the BSTP which could be used for messy things like watering the golf courses and doing flushing activities in the city’s central business district area.

Lacsamana added part of the output of the CIDA and ADB grant to the city government will be the partial preparation of a comprehensive master development plan for the city’s sewerage system that would put in place all sewerage connections and will address illegal sewer connections around the city, especially in the central business district area.

The CEPMO official underscored the importance of finalizing the city’s comprehensive sewerage master development plan because it will effectively and efficiently address worsening illegal sewer connections and for the local government to be able to generate additional revenue to bankroll the implementation of more development projects and enhance the delivery of basic services to the people in the coming years.

Lacsaman said part of the uncovered problems on the city’s sewerage and drainage systems are the lapses in engineering works which must be corrected on the current inspection undertaken by the concerned agencies and departments of the city government. By Dexter A. See

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