A VILLAGE chief in one of the hinterland barangays of the city said the city’s new sanitary landfill is polluting a nearby river.
Eric Naparete, Barangay Pagalungan chief said, that the lecheate or the "juice" of the sanitary landfill located in the same barangay has seeped into a nearby river.
Naparete said locals used to enjoy leisurely swims in the river, but since the landfill was transferred from Bbarangay Carmen to Pagalungan in June this year, residents have complained of skin irritation after swimming in the river.
Naparete said a foul smell have began emanating from the river especially when it rains.
Also, a barangay resolution was passed by Barangay San Simon for the reported fish kill in the rivers of the barangay.
But a water test conducted by a private testing center in the rivers of the city showed that water quality is "within tolerable level".
The tests, conducted last September, uses pH, temperature, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD), and dissolved oxygen (DO), as sign posts to identify if the water is safe and healthy.
Results show that all rivers passed the criteria: the standard acidity/temperature of the water which is set at 6.0-9.0 at 25-32 degrees Celsius, while the water sampling discharge at the creek in the Iponan river has 6.5 at 28.6 degrees Celsius. The BOD meanwhile is at 10 milligrams per liter (mg/L), compared to the standard 15 mg/L, and the river's DO is at 3.2 mg/L compared to the standard which is at 2 mg/L/.
City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) head Edwin Dael said the water sampling results show that the rivers are safe and that accusations are baseless.
However, Dael said Clenro is set to conduct an investigation for the reported fish kill in barangay San Simon.
"It's possible that there are other factors, and not the garbage, this is why an investigation is set to find out the reasons. Because according to a barangay resolution of San Simon, worms are coming out from the landfill and are reaching the river, resulting to fish kill," he said.
But Dael said this claim is impossible especially that the landfill is contained, with the different linings that would absorb the lecheate.
"We received reports that a commercial establishment is reportedly washing their plastic containers in the Iponan river. These containers have allegedly worms in it and the river washes them away," he said.
He said the fish kill could be caused by other factors, such as poisoning carried out by illegal fishermen.
The new P600 million landfill opened in June this year and is a 45-hectares facility where some 560 tons of garbage per day are dumped.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on November 15, 2017.