THE Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) confirmed in its 2018 regular water test that Pantal River, Dagupan City’s main river, is already severely polluted.
EMB’s data indicated that the biochemical oxygen demand had decreased, while coliform bacteria in the river increased.
Based on last year’s tests, coliform bacteria rose by 16,686 most probable number per 100 milliliters (MPN/100mL) – several times higher than the standard 5,000 MPN per 100mL.
However, to make things worse, fecal coliform bacteria count has risen to 7,636 MPN/100mL, against normal standard count of 200 MPN/100m, meaning in one hundred milliliters of a fluid, a high concentration of coliform bacteria exists.
Engr. Raymundo Gayo, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO), affirmed that coliform bacteria refer to organisms capable of spreading disease and concentration of coliform bacteria exceeding the normal level would cause various diseases.
One of the causes of the severe pollution was attributed to the dumping of waste materials and human wastes of informal settlers.
Another highly probable contributor is the fact that the Pantal River is a catch basin of water from upstream before moving to the sea, collecting waste bacteria from towns and cities.
Meanwhile, in this year’s partial data, standard fecal coliform bacteria last January recorded at 35,000 MPN/100mL; has decreased last February to 24,000 MPN/100mL.
Water tests in March, April and May are still unavailable. (Ahikam Pasion)
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