SEPTIC tank desludgers "pozo negro" are operating without permits, thus pose threats of contaminating the ground water and seas, the City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) said Tuesday, October 15.
Clenro chief Engr. Armen Cuenca said desludgers do not have environmental clearance and business permits to operate but are allowed to operate anyway.
Pozo negro desludgers offer services to properly dispose the sludge of human wastes from septic tanks.
"They should have permit kay gatan-awon man dapat asa sila mag-dispose sa sludge pero wala sila mag-apply ug wala pud ta mohatag ug permit," Cuenca said.
Florencio Dominguez, chief of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) Monitoring and Enforcement Division, also confirmed that pozo negro does not have Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) from its office.
He said the DENR cannot issue ECC since pozo negro are not up to the DENR standards.
"Dili namo tagaan kay dili man appropriate way of treating the waste, although it is still treating but it is not in compliance with the standards of DENR," he said.
The proper way is to put up a sewerage system where all wastes from households will go directly to the sewer, where the wastes will be treated for its safe release into water bodies.
If a sewer system is available, Dominguez said all pozo negro will now be connected to the common sewer system.
However, Dominguez said although they have no permits, they are still allowed to operate or septic tanks would overflow.
"It's not necessarily wrong but it's not the best way of doing it," he said.
At present, Cuenca said pozo negro are disposing the human wastes in certain farms in unknown areas.
Although unsanitary, Cuenca said the public would just have to bear this problem a little longer since the planned sewer system is still underway.
"Maybe in the next two years, makompleto na ang sewerage system then this problem will be solved," he said.