The city government will continue its use of mud balls to mitigate water pollution around its coastal areas while awaiting the full operation of its water treatment facility.
Atty. Carlo Gomez, city environment and natural resources head, was referring to tennis ball sized balls made from Effective Microorganisms (EM) that control ammonia levels in the water that help address pollution in damaged sea grounds.
Gomez told Palawan News that the Environmental Management Division of their office has been producing mud balls since 2016 to be spread throughout the waters of the city in the hope of treating the water pollution.
“Gumagawa kami ng EM o effective microorganisms, nilalagay natin yan sa mga ipa, mga natural materials para mag inoculate, so may period sya, kapag binuo sya, kailangan mautilize kaagad yong mud ball na yan within 30 days,” he said.
Based on the samplings conducted by their office, each mud ball should be utilized within 30 days after it was made, and the efficacy lasts for almost one week, depending on the volume of the wastewater.
“Normally good for one-week sya based doon sa mga water sampling natin kasi may mga factors din doon ng pollution halimbawa yong mga outpost ay nagpoproduce pa rin ng waste water kaya nami-minimize ang length ng kanyang effectivity pero kung mababawasan natin ang mga household waste ay it will be more than two to three week,” he added.
He said they have also seen mud balls as an alternative treatment method while waiting for the full operation of the water treatment plant of the city government.
“Ngayon bumalik na ang mga activities kaya we need to continue to treat our waters kasi ang ating water treatment facility ay hindi pa sya nage-expand to cover all areas of baywalk pero eventually baka magstop na rin ang mudball treatment kapag nagexpand na ang operation ng water treatment,” Gomez said.
“Nare-restore sya pero may mga time pa rin na nao-overtake kami ng mga factor kagaya nga ng continues na pagtatapon ng wastewater. Sinasabayan din natin ito ng water sampling activity, at last year alam din naman natin because of pandemic ay nakapahinga ang ating dagat dahil wala halos commercial activity,” he added.
On Wednesday, the City ENRO administered the mud ball throwing activity in the waters of the Puerto Princesa City Baywalk during a coastal clean-up where they threw in over 10,000 mud balls.
Moreover, Gomez also noted that the incoming Ironman 70.3 in November would benefit from the water treatment program of the city government as the swimming leg will start at the Puerto Princesa City Baywalk.
“Coincidentally ay medyo nagbe-benefit ngayon si Ironman dahil ang swimming leg ng triathlon ay dito gagawin sa baywalk kaya nagco-compliment din ang ginagawa natin ngayon na paglilinis. Ayaw din natin magkasakit at ayaw natin na magkaroon ng mga skin diseases ang mga participants that composed by at least 1,200 athletes,” he said.