a body of water with a city in the background: DENR: Manila Bay’s coliform levels drop

© Edd Gumban, file
DENR: Manila Bay’s coliform levels drop

MANILA, Philippines — The levels of fecal coliform bacteria in the waters of Manila Bay have significantly dropped, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reported yesterday.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said water samples taken on Feb. 8 from 21 monitoring stations showed that fecal coliform levels in Manila Bay dropped to 4.87 million most probable number per 100 milliliters from the annual average of 7.16 million mpn/100 ml in 2020.

Cimatu noted that fecal coliform levels in the waters near the controversial white sand project decreased to 523,000 mpn/100 ml from 2.2 million mpn/100ml on Jan. 4 based on the average count from three monitoring stations.

He said improving the water quality in Manila Bay is among the DENR’s priorities, in compliance with the Supreme Court’s 2008 mandamus directing various government agencies to clean the bay.

Cimatu attributed the drop in fecal coliform levels to the operation of additional sewage treatment plants (STPs), particularly the one at the Manila Yacht Club along Roxas Boulevard, which can treat up to 500,000 liters of wastewater per day.

Three additional STPs were recently installed along the major river systems leading to Manila Bay: Libertad outfall in Parañaque River, Tullahan-Tinajeros River and Las Piñas-Zapote River.

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