DOST launches tech for wastewater treatment in Siargao

General Luna, Siargao Island—Scientists, Local Government Units (LGUs), government agencies, educators, volunteer groups and students gathered to participate in the launching of the technology that will help solve the issue on  wastewater contamination in beaches and ground water, September 21.

The Eco-friendly Septic Tank System or Eco-sep, a technology funded by the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD), aims to install sustainable and eco-friendly septic water management system. Eco-sep will address the problem on untreated waste waters in resorts, public establishments and households.

In Siargao, the Eco-friendly Septic Tank Systems are currently installed in the three pilot sites—General Luna Market, General Luna High School and Traveler’s Beach Resort—under a research project involving the Eco-sep Technology. “The samples collected from these sites will serve as a baseline for DOST to convince resort owners, LGUs and households to adopt the technology in our campaign [as part of the project],” says Engr. Noel Ajoc, the Project Coordinator.

Inventor of the Eco-sep Technology Dr. Merlinda Palencia explained that the Eco-sep system deployed in the pilot sites contain the Vigormin—an organomineral that hastens the decomposition of harmful bacteria present in septic tanks—thereby preventing it to escape from the tank and avoiding contamination in sewage systems.

Dr. Palencia noted that the Eco-sep system will be very efficient as most septic tanks in Siargao have a bottomless design—the wastewater immediately seeps through the ground causing higher risk of contamination in freshwater. “Eco-sep will make an impact to Siargao since the source of its eco-tourism are the pristine, fresh and very clean water along its beaches. We don’t want Siargao to follow the footsteps of Boracay where the fecal bacteria is already present in its seawater,” added Palencia.

DOST Caraga Regional Director Dominga D. Mallonga also assured that the agency will always continue its support in sustaining the ecotourism of the island. “With the development comes challenges from the increasing influx of tourists in Siargao. DOST will always be along the way so that we will be able to plan out carefully and avoid problems in Solid Waste Management and Food Safety,” guaranteed Director Mallonga.

Aside from the Eco-sep Technology, the activity also paved way for DOST to introduce other projects for the people in Siargao. Some of which included the Food Establishment Inspecting Grading, food-based livelihood for the elderly, IT-enabled livelihood project and the turn-over of the STARBOOKS technology.