Boracay Water continues steadfast support for island opening
Boracay Island Water Company, Inc. (Boracay Water), the largest water supply and wastewater management services provider in Boracay, continues to accelerate its used water masterplan which has been approved by the Tourism Infrastructure Enterprise Zone Authority in 2017, along with rendering efforts in support of the drainage system rehabilitation to assist the multi-agency task force led by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) responsible for leading the rehabilitation in the Island.
On April 26, as a response to the heightened pollution of the beach waters of Boracay, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 53, which led to the closure for rehabilitation of the top tourist destination.
Fast Tracking the 2017 Approved Used Water Masterplan for Boracay
Since then, Boracay Water’s intensified efforts completed a diversion flow system that connects the two DENR compliant Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in the Island.
With the completed diversion system, some of the used water for treatment in the company’s Balabag used water treatment facility will be transmitted to Manocmanoc STP which has a treatment capacity of 5 million liters of used water per day (MLD). Currently, the Manocmanoc STP treats about 1 to 2 MLD of used water from households and business establishments located within the barangay. The flow diversion project maximizes the combined capacity of both treatment plants and will enable the company’s sewerage system to accommodate even non-Boracay Water customers who are yet to connect to a reliable and proper used water network.
In total, Balabag and Manocmanoc STPs treat an average of 8.7 MLD, or 76 percent of its combined 11.5 MLD capacity. Both facilities discharge Class SB water or treated domestic used water compliant with the stringent parameters of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources that is safe for marine life and suitable for recreational and contact activities.
Apart from this, the company has also increased desludging services capacity by acquiring additional 3 desludging trucks that can haul up to 9 cubic meters of wastewater or used water from households and establishments that are yet to connect to the sewer system.
With the addition of two units of two cubic meter and one unit of five cubic meter desludging trucks, the company now has a total fleet of nine (9) desludging trucks which can collect up to twenty cubic meters of used water per day from the company’s residential and commercial customers located in areas without access to the sewer network.
Currently, Boracay Water is undergoing works to accommodate higher flows of used water by replacing its main sewer pipeline. This also aims to deload and mitigate sewerage load at the Front Beach sewage network.
Apart from this, the company has also started laying the ground work for the construction of a third used water treatment plant in the Island which can accommodate 5 MLD for treatment, soon giving Boracay Water the capacity to treat a total of 16.5 MLD from households and establishments in the Island.
Boracay Water is the only water service provider in the Island of Boracay with centralized sewerage system that continues to remain compliant with the stringent pollution control standards of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
With a network spanning over 22 kilometers of sewer lines serving more than 1,000 commercial and residential establishments and a fleet of nine desludging trucks to haul wastewater coming from those in unsewered areas, Boracay Water ensures that wastewater discharges or effluents are treated in its two sewage treatment plants and are consistently compliant with the DENR-mandated Class SB water quality or water that is fit for recreational activities and contact uses that would not pollute the island’s pristine beach waters.
Providing Drainage System Improvement Assistance
Since the closure of the island on April 26, Boracay Water has been providing assistance to DENR and TIEZA in identifying establishments releasing untreated wastewater or used water into the government’s drainage system which have been a major source of the increased coliform levels at the Bolabog outfall.
Successfully, 36 illegal pipelines were plugged with the collaboration of Boracay Water, DENR and TIEZA.
Of the 36 plugged illegal lines, 25 are located at the 200-meter stretch of Kanyugan Alley while 11 illegal pipelines were found along the 200-meter stretch of Road 1A.
Similar efforts are being undertaken along the beachfront using CCTV technology to help trace and investigate pipelines illegally connected to the drainage system and releasing used water directly to the beach.
According to Boracay Water General Manager and Chief Operating Officer Joseph Michael Santos, these efforts to assist DENR and TIEZA are in line with the company’s campaign to encourage households and establishments to comply with the much needed proper used water management to ensure that wastewater coming from residences and establishments undergo proper treatment and fully comply with the strict discharge standards of DENR.
“We need everyone to act responsibly and to establish proper used water management practice to permanently put a stop to the illegal connections of sewer lines to the drainage system which is intended solely for rain water and not wastewater. These illegal acts of violators have become the main cause of our system overflows polluting our waters,” Santos emphasizes.
As additional drainage clearing operation support, Boracay Water has also built a temporary interceptor and diversion system that redirects drainage water to the company’s Balabag Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) to ensure proper treatment.
The company has also launched an information campaign to enlighten residence on the difference between the purpose of the sewage system and the drainage system.