November 22, 2004 (STAR) Clean water being a vital but scarce and finite commodity, should be conserved, treated and reused, according to the Water Environment Association of the Philippines Inc. (WEAP).

The WEAP, a member-association of the international Water Environment Federation (WEF), said that ensuring an efficient, economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible wastewater treatment alternatives will enable people to sustain water resources and make clean and safe water available for humans and wildlife.

Last year, the Philippine Environment Monitor reported that water pollution in the country is mainly caused by domestic and industrial sources.

Anthropogenic, or human-induced pollutants, have overloaded the country’s receiving bodies of water. Thus, untreated wastewater affects health and recreational use, threatens biodiversity and deteriorates the overall quality of water.

In the industrial sector, Dr. Pag-asa Gaspillo, WEAP president, said the level of treatment has improved tremendously because of stringent environmental regulations.

However, Gaspillo said meeting the discharge regulation has been a continuing struggle for most of these industries.

The inadequate performance of many wastewater treatment facilities, she stressed, can be traced largely to lack of knowledge and experience about the performance of wastewater treatment processes, sampling procedures and analysis, and trouble-shooting, and most importantly, the lack of adequately experienced, trained and motivated personnel.

Thus, Gaspillo said the key to successful performance of a wastewater treatment plant lies in the establishment of proper operations and control, the maintenance of treatment processes by the plant operator, and the implementation of safety policies and procedures. Committed to preserve the country’s water for households and the environment, the WEAP will conduct a technical seminar on wastewater treatment processes, laboratory test methods and an update on the Clean Water Act at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay City on Nov. 26-27.

Gaspillo said experts will speak on specific topics such as biological treatment of wastewater, chemical treatment of industrial wastewater, laboratory test methods, water quality management, environmental management system (ISO I4001) and salient features of the Clean Water Act. (For seminar details, call WEAP staffer Joy at 371-9790 or 410-1119.)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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