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DENR cites significant improvements in Manila Bay’s water quality.

The Environmental Management Bureau – National Capital Region (EMB-NCR) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has noted a notable improvement in the water quality of Manila Bay, which it attributes to ongoing restoration work in river systems and tributaries.

The fecal coliform level at the Manila Bay beach nourishment station close to the US Embassy has reduced to 2,400 most likely numbers per 100 milliliters (MPN/100mL), down from 7,100 MPN/100mL in 2021, according to EMB-NCR statistics as of June.

Lower fecal coliform levels were also detected at two water quality monitoring stations close to Dolomite Beach, dropping from 7,300 MPN/100 mL to 1,700 MPN/100 mL and from 10,200 MPN/100 mL to 2,100 MPN/100 mL, respectively.

Additionally, the four Metropolitan Environment Offices saw a marked decline in fecal coliform levels in their respective regions.

Fecal coliform concentrations decreased from 3.7 billion MPN/100 mL to 4.8 million MPN/100 mL in the Malabon-Navotas-Tullahan-Tinajeros River System and from 920,000 MPN/100 mL to 9,200 MPN/100 mL in the waters near the Navotas Fishport.

Manila Bay has made tremendous progress based on the water quality monitoring results. Rest confident that we won’t stop working on the Manila Bay restoration project just yet, said Michael Drake Matias, regional director of EMB-NCR, in a news release on Saturday.

Even though the readings indicate that Manila Bay’s water quality is still far from reaching the fecal coliform standard of 100 MPN/100mL, Matias stated the objective is difficult to achieve but doable with the help of the people and local, national, and international governments.

A coastal region or body of water is classified as Class SB by the DENR if it is safe for people to bathe, swim, go skin diving, or indulge in other recreational activities there.

With the implementation of our real-time online water quality monitoring system, geoengineering treatments, and solid waste management measures, Matias claimed that reaching the 100 MPN/100mL standard was not insurmountable.

The EMB-NCR checks 412 monitoring sample stations at different water bodies around Metro Manila.

23 stations are being monitored three times per week, including ones close to the US Embassy, the Rizal Park Hotel, and Dolomite Beach.

18 locations, including the Aristocrat Restaurant monitoring station and the Manila Yacht Club wastewater treatment plant, are checked every week.

Additionally, the EMB-NCR monitors 133 stations every month, including the Marikina River and the river outfalls of Manila Bay.

It performs quarterly monitoring of 206 sites, including the Navotas River Shipyard and Manila Bay shoreline, along with the EMB 3 (Central Luzon) and EMB 4-A (Calabarzon), and semi-annual monitoring of 32 stations.

An online water quality monitoring system has been created and set up by the EMB-NCR for simple public access.

According to Matias, the data system will inform and educate the public about the state and trends of the water quality in Metro Manila’s creeks and water bodies.

It will also serve as the foundation for developing policies, programs, and laws to reduce water pollution in the various local government entities’ spheres of responsibility.

The Manila Bay rehabilitation project is being carried out in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ongoing mandamus, which orders 13 government agencies, including the DENR, to clean up, rehabilitate, and restore Manila Bay’s waters so that they are suitable for swimming and other physical recreation.

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