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Boracay Water plugs illegally connected pipes

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PHOTO BY CRECENCIO CRUZ

BORACAY Island Water Co., Inc. said it has plugged 36 more illegally connected pipes to the island’s drainage system.

“We need everyone to act responsibly and to properly connect to a reliable sewer system 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,” said Joseph Michael A. Santos, Boracay Water general manager and chief operating officer, in a statement.

The plugging of the illegal pipe connections is part of the continuing efforts by the company to ensure proper wastewater management on the island in coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).

“These illegal acts of violators have become the main cause of our system overflows polluting our waters,” Mr. Santos said.

Boracay Water said after plugging the pipes, it has been undertaking similar efforts along the beachfront to help trace and investigate pipelines illegally connected to the drainage system and releasing used water directly to the beach.

Boracay Water, a unit of Manila Water Co., Inc., has been providing assistance to DENR and TIEZA in identifying establishments that release untreated wastewater or used water into the government’s drainage system.

The untreated water has been blamed as the major source of the increased coliform levels at the Bolabog outfall. The island has been closed to non-residents since April 26.

Of the 36 plugged illegal lines, 25 are at the 200-meter stretch of Kanyugan Alley, while 11 illegal pipelines were found along the 200-meter stretch of Road 1A, Boracay Water said.

Mr. Santos said Boracay Water’s efforts to assist DENR and TIEZA are in line with its campaign to encourage households and establishments to connect to the existing sewer network. This is to ensure that their wastewater undergo proper treatment and fully comply with the strict discharge standards of DENR.

Boracay Water has recently built a temporary interceptor and diversion system that redirects drainage water to the company’s Balabag sewage treatment plant to ensure proper treatment.

“With its existing used water network, the company may readily connect more than 500 establishments and residents,” it said. — Victor V. Saulon