Village to do water quality monitoring of river

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Water quality monitoring of the Balili River could be carried out even at the barangay level adapting the Stream Visual Assessment Protocol.

Dean Aurea Marie Sandova of the Benguet State University College of Arts and Sciences said experts in the field of Environmental Engineering from the University of the Philippines-Diliman explained the SVAP in a manner understandable to the participants and actually demonstrated the method through hands on training along the Balili River.

Developed in the United States, the SVAP is a simple procedure to evaluate the condition of a stream based on visual characteristics. It is used to characterize stream health, inspire stewardship, educate landowners, and develop watershed improvement projects apart from water quality monitoring and rehabilitation efforts.

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For two days, Dr. Florencio Ballesteros, Dr. Louernie De Sales and Engr. Gabriel Pamintuan Jr., who are experts in the field of Environmental Engineering on hazardous and toxic wastes, wastewater, and solid waste management, taught the more than a hundred participants composed of the Balili River System Revitalization Coalition (BRSRC) members and barangay chairpersons of Baguio City and this town, about the SVAP.

Any member of the community or barangay with appropriate training on the SVAP method and likewise drawing water samples along river streams can already be capable with the assistance of the academe for further analysis, Sandoval said.

Appreciating the relevance and seeing the need to enhance knowledge and skills, the participants are requesting for more trainings, according to Sandoval. She also said they are also planning to adapt the method as a laboratory exercise in BSU.

The environmental water quality monitoring of the Balili River is an added engineering face of the rehabilitation efforts undertaken by the BRSRC towards improving water and solid wastes in accordance with environmental standards.

Local government units of Baguio City and this town, who are members of the coalition, sponsored the training in their bid to clean and revitalize the Balili River and its tributaries, a long aspiration of both LGUs being the biggest river system in the area.

Aside from the two LGUs, the BRSRC composed of national line agencies, academe, government owned and controlled corporations and the non government organizations/private sector was organized to harmonize all efforts and initiatives for the rehabilitation of the Balili River System along La Trinidad and the Sagudin River in Baguio City. Recently it included the municipality of Sablan in Benguet as it encompasses the downstream portion of the river. (Susan Aro)

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 21, 2012.

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