Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) Philippines

What is the Clean Water Act (RA 9275)

The Philippine Clean Water Act of 2004 (Republic Act No. 9275) aims to protect the country's water bodies from pollution from land-based sources (industries and commercial establishments, agriculture and community/household activities). It provides for a comprehensive and integrated strategy to prevent and minimize pollution through a multi-sectoral and participatory approach involving all the stakeholders.

How will discharges of wastewater be controlled?

All owners or operators of facilities that discharge wastewater are required to get a permit to discharge from the DENR or the Laguna Lake Development Authority. Existing industries without any permit are given 12 months from the effectivity of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) promulgated pursuant to this Act to secure a permit to discharge.

What are the prohibited acts under R.A. 9275?

Among others, the Act prohibits the following:

  1. Discharging or depositing any water pollutant to the water body, or such which will impede natural flow in the water body
  2. Discharging, injecting or allowing to enter into the soil, anything that would pollute groundwater
  3. Operating facilities that discharge regulated water pollutants without the valid required permits
  4. Disposal of potentially infectious medical waste into sea by vessels
  5. Unauthorized transport or dumping into waters of sewage sludge or solid waste.
  6. Transport, dumping or discharge of prohibited chemicals, substances or pollutants listed under Toxic Chemicals, Hazardous and Nuclear
  7. Wastes Control Act (Republic.Act No. 6969)
  8. Discharging regulated water pollutants without the valid required discharge permit pursuant to this Act
  9. Noncompliance of the LGU with the Water Quality Framework and Management Area Action Plan
  10. Refusal to allow entry, inspection and monitoring as well as access to reports and records by the DENR in accordance with this Act
  11. Refusal or failure to submit reports and/or designate pollution control officers whenever required by the DENR in accordance with this Act
  12. Directly using booster pumps in the distribution system or tampering with the water supply in such a way to alter or impair the water quality
  13. Operate facilities that discharge or allow to seep, willfully or through grave negligence, prohibited chemicals, substances, or pollutantslisted under R.A. No. 6969, into water bodies.
  14. Undertake activities or development and expansion of projects, or operating wastewater treatment/sewerage facilities in violation of P.D.1586 and its IRR.

What are the fines and penalties imposed on polluters?

The following are among the fines and penalties for violators of this Act and its IRR:

Upon the recommendation of the Pollution Adjudication Board (PAB), anyone who commits prohibited acts such as discharging untreated wastewater into any water body will be fined for every day of violation, the amount of not less than Php 10,000 but not more than Php 200,000.

Failure to undertake clean-up operations willfully shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than four years. This also includes a fine of not less than Php 50,000 and not more than Php 100,000 per day of violation. Failure or refusal to clean up which results in serious injury or loss of life or lead to irreversible water contamination of surface, ground, coastal and marine water shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than 6 years and 1 day and not more than 12 years and a fine of Php 500,000/day for each day the contamination or omission continues.

In cases of gross violation, a fine of not less than Php 500,000 but not more than Php 3,000,000 will be imposed for each day of violation. Criminal charges may also be filed.

Examples: Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) issued cease and desist orders to:

Gloria Maris Shark's Fin Restaurant along manila bay located within the Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex (CCPC)
Aristocrat Restaurant along Roxas Boulevard, Metro Manila Philippines
San Miguel by the Bay at the Esplanade along manila bay

DAO 2016-08

Is a water quality guidelines and general effluent standards of 2016. It provides guidelines for the classification of water bodies in the country; determination of time trends and the evaluation of stages of deterioration/enhancement in water quality; evaluation of the need for taking actions in preventing, controlling, or abating water pollution.

ParameterMetro Manila
BOD (mg/L)42 - 454
COD (mg/L)56 - 1004
TSS (mg/L)15 - 1006
Oil and Grease (mg/L)1 - 58
Color (NTU)-
Total Coliform (MPN/100mL)3 - >= 16 (106)
Fecal Coliform (MPN/100mL)2 - >= 16 (106)
Ammonia as NH3-N (mg/L)1 - 294
Nitrate as NO3-N (mg/L)0.1 - 8
Phosphate (mg/L)1 - 14
Surfactants (MBAS)-

DENR DAO 2016-08 New Parameters

ParameterDAO No. 1990-35 (For Class C) OLDDAO No. 2016-08 (For Class C) NEW
BOD (mg/L)5050
COD (mg/L)100100
TSS (mg/L)70100
Oil and Grease (mg/L)55
Color (NTU)150150
Total Coliform (MPN/100mL)10,00010,000
Fecal Coliform (MPN/100mL)None400 (NEW)
Ammonia as NH3-N (mg/L)None0.5 (NEW)
Nitrate as NO3-N (mg/L)None14 (NEW)
Phosphate (mg/L)None1 (NEW)
Surfactants (MBAS)715 (NEW)

DAO 2016-08 Mainly focuses on the regulating Nitrogen (as NH4 and NO3) and Phosphates in our effluents, with these new parameters majority of sewage treatment plant (STP) in Metro Manila Philippines will not pass Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) standards. Learn more on how to solve your STP problems.

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