Central Luzon waste top Manila Bay pollutant

By Rainier Allan Ronda, The Philippine Star

Posted at May 10 2014 02:34 AM | Updated as of May 10 2014 10:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Domestic and agricultural waste from Central Luzon, which goes into the Pampanga River and drains into the Manila Bay, is the top culprit for the bay’s dismal condition, according to a study by the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI).

“The source of pollution of Manila Bay (from the waters that drained from the Pampanga river basin) were coming from domestic wastes, they were coming from the livestock and fishery waste, and coming from fertilizers they use in agriculture,” PNRI director Alumanda dela Rosa said.

The study used stable isotopes to check the chemical and metal content of the water in the river.

The study, led by PNRI atomic research division chief Soledad Castaneda, found that the surface water quality of the Pampanga River failed chemical and biological standards: it contained contaminants such as human and animal waste as well as heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, mercury, cobalt and nickel.

The study based its findings on 38 samples taken from the various spots along the 249-kilometer river.