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BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance providing for the proper harvesting, storage, and utilization of rainwater in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Leandro B. Yangot, Jr. stated the rainwater catchment system (RCS) will be composed of five basic components, particularly the collection system or catchment surface; conveyance system or gutters and downspout; storage system or storage tanks; treatment and disinfection system or leaf screen; first flush diverters, roof washers and drainage or sewerage system or rainwater or storm water drains.
The ordinance added a rainwater harvesting system in the city will be classified based on the size and nature of the catchment surface and on whether the systems are urban and rural settings.
Under the proposed ordinance, the following classifications are defined: small size RCS for individual residential and other types of buildings with a catchment surface equal to or less than 50 square meters; medium to large size RCS of residential buildings, including commercial, institutional, industrial and agriculture establishment should have a catchment of 50 square meters; RCS for apartments, duplex or multi-levelled buildings and urbanized areas, and RCS with pervious or impervious catchment surfaces.
Yangot pointed out all construction of new commercial and industrial buildings, including major renovations and expansion of existing public and private buildings, must include an RCS which must be integrated into existing government buildings, especially public schools, and public markets.
Further, owners of other existing private buildings are encouraged to install RCS in their structures.
On the other hand, the developers or owners, including the homeowners’ associations of new concrete residential building units, shall install a communal or cluster-type RCS while owners of concrete residential building units are encouraged to set up their own RCS.
The ordinance cited RCS or small water impounding systems shall be integrated into newly established agricultural plantations and that the same are encouraged to be built in existing agricultural plantations.
The ordinance said the Office of the City Agriculturist shall identify priority farms in the agriculture sector other than agricultural plantations which shall also be encouraged to put up RCS or small water impounding systems, whichever is appropriate.
Yangot explained a significant volume of water harvested from the rain can supply the water requirement for sanitation and general cleaning of urban agriculture, backyard, commercial animal raising and crop production.
Any residential, commercial or industrial establishment found violating any of the provisions of the ordinance shall be given a notice to comply within a period of six months. If any of the establishments fail to comply despite such notice, a penalty of P500 shall be imposed on the owner of the residential establishment and P1,000 on commercial and industrial establishments. After five months of refusal to abide by the said provision despite notice and initial fine, a maximum P5,000 shall be imposed on owners of the establishments.
By Dexter A. See