01 December 2010

Subicwater unveils US$1-M sewage treatment plant

Subic Water and Sewerage Company Inc. (Subicwater), a private utility firm operating here and in Olongapo City, inaugurated on Thursday its newest sewage treatment plant worth US$1-million.

The new treatment plant brings the number of Subicwater’s sewage treatment facilities to six. The firm also operates two water treatment facilities here and in Olongapo City.

The inauguration, which was held inside the Subicwater compound here, was graced by Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Feliciano Salonga, Subicwater chairman Herbert Consunji, Subic Bay Freeport Chamber of Commerce president Danny Piano, SBMA Ecology Center manager Amethya dela Llana-Koval, and Subicwater board president Lex Magrata, who represented the City of Olongapo.

During the simple ribbon-cutting ceremony, SBMA’s Salonga praised Subicwater for what he said was “another major accomplishment towards attaining the vision of this free port to fully comply with the Clean Water Act of the Philippines.”

“This new sewage plant demonstrates Subicwater’s commitment to ensure the health and sanitation of our communities. It is worth its million-dollar cost as, in the end, the bay of Subic from where thousands of people depend for their living, will be protected from wastewater pollution,” Salonga stressed.

Salonga also commended Subicwater officials for “putting their money where their mouth is.”

According to Subicwater officials, the new facility employs the sequencing batch reactor technology (SBR) and is capable of handling five million liters of wastewater daily.

The facility is expected to treat 64 percent of the sewage being generated at the central business district of the Subic Bay Freeport.

Subicwater’s Consunji, meanwhile, said that Subicwater takes pride in being among the best in the country in terms of complying with the Clean Water Act.

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“As we adhere to the Clean Water Act of 2004, the people can expect Subicwater to push for the construction of more sewage treatment plants in the Subic Bay Freeport and in the City of Olongapo,” said Consunji.

Subicwater officials also said that a sewerage master plan for this free port and the adjacent city of Olongapo is currently in the works.

The long-term target, they added, is to totally eliminate the threat posed by untreated wastewater, which environmentalists point out as the greatest contributor of both surface and ground water pollution.

Subicwater implemented the first built-operate-and-transfer (BOT) scheme for a water and sewerage system in the Philippines and Southeast Asia, taking over the operation of the water supply and sewerage system in this free port in 1997.

The firm was formed by a joint-venture agreement in 1996 among the SBMA, Biwater PLC of Great Britain, DM Consunji Inc., and the now-defunct Olongapo City Water District. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

Photo: SBMA Chairman Feliciano G. Salonga (2nd from left) tours the $1-million wastewater treatment plant put up by the Subic Water and Sewerage Company Inc. at the Subic Bay Freeport. The new facility is expected to help reduce water pollution in the Subic Bay area.