Social preparation has begun for sludge management. program

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The Davao City Water District has launched social readiness initiatives for the sludge management program which is expected to be implemented next year.

Jovana Cresta Duhaylungsod, spokesperson for the utility, said it had started distributing informational materials about the program, joint venture with the city government and proper emptying practices, because “we need to make people understand people that they have to be ready for it”. said Duhaylungsod.

She added that there have also been dialogues between the implementing body and the residents since the two entities signed the MoU on July 1.

The program, which will include five “odorless and noiseless” wastewater treatment plants according to the regulations of the Ministry of Health, concerns the emptying of wastewater from households once every five years, the treatment of wastewater collected in a station treatment facilities, and proper disposal of wastewater and biosolids.

All investment requirements will be assumed by the water district, which in 2019 announced that the actual investment would be 300 million pesos. However, in the latest program, the first treatment plant, which will be installed in Indangan and will cover the northern regions, will require 242 million pesos for its implementation and is expected to start operating in the third quarter of 2023.

The water district has not yet released the total capital expenditure required to implement the entire program.

In addition to making people realize the importance of the program, Duhaylunsod said residents “must also prepare their septic tanks because, according to the study, not everyone in the city has a septic tank, while that those who have septic tanks do not meet the standards standards yet.

As part of standard septic tanks, water and solid waste must be stored separately, while those that are not but have two chambers can still be used provided they have concrete floors and the wastewater does not seep into the ground.

The information campaign also aims to push residents to change their attitude in the management of sewage from “unless it is full, the collection is not carried out” to “a regular collection system due to (the impact of waste on the environment and people,” she added.

Another element of the information campaign is surveying households on their readiness to adopt the program so that data can be generated for action plans to fill the gaps, she added.

The city government has prepared an ordinance for its implementation which, among other things, will instruct the city’s health office to be its executive body, since this function is part of the agreement that the two entities have signed.

As an implementing body, the office will also be authorized to notify either compliance or non-compliance.

Regarding the sludge management fee, the amount will be determined through the “same process as water tariff adjustment”, such as public hearing, local government approval of water and sanitation services. other processes before its implementation.

The briefer added that the city needs the facility “given the rapid increase in population and consequent increase in domestic and industrial sewage”.

“Regular monitoring of the Talomo River and Davao River in Davao City increases levels of fecal coliforms from human and animal waste and an indicator of fecal contamination that causes waterborne illnesses. If the coliform content is high, it means that the water quality is already unsafe in the Gulf of Davao. Insufficiently treated wastewater is the main source of water pollution,” he added.

He also cited some studies “showing that open defecation is still practiced in both urban and rural areas due to the lack of toilets and/or septic tanks. Nationally, septic tanks are undersized and do not meet the standards prescribed by the Ministry of Health.

“Poorly constructed septic tanks allow excreta (faeces and urine) to seep down to the ground, which can easily contaminate groundwater,” he said as the city government passed the ordinance. on Davao City Wastewater and Sewer Management in 2010 and the Clean Water Law of 2004 as the basis of the program.


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