2 areas in Panglao, Bohol fail water sampling

TAGBILARAN CITY -- Two areas in Panglao Island proved unsafe for swimming, based on the latest test results from the Bohol Provincial Health Office (PHO) Water Laboratory.

The joint monthly sampling conducted on April 24 by the Environment Management Bureau (EMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Provincial Health Office (PHO) group covered 10 sites spanning from Dumaluan Beach in Barangay Bolod up to the Muro Ami portion of Barangay Doljo in Panglao.

The 10 sampling sites included Dumaluan Beach I and Dumaluan Beach II in Bolod; Amorita Cliff, Alona Tropical, and Alona Kew in Tawala; Lost Horizon, Bohol Divers Resort, and Linaw Beach Resort in Barangay Danao; and Bellevue and Muro Ami Beach Resort in Doljo.

Of the 10 sites, Amorita Cliff and Lost Horizon failed in the bacteriology examination.

The report signed by Engr. Arsenio Torrejos, officer-in-charge of the PHO Septage Laboratory, and noted by Provincial Health Officer Reymoses Cabagnot, was submitted to Governor Edgar Chatto.

Torrejos explained Monday that they tested the areas on two parameters -- total coliform and fecal coliform.

The samples were collected early in the morning on testing date, which he said is the best time to collect water samples.

In the PHO water laboratory standard, the limit for total coliform is 1,000 mpn (most probable number) per 100ml of the sample and 100mpn/100 ml of the sample for fecal coliform.

He explained that mpn is the unit used in microbiological analysis, considering the microscopic size of bacteria.

Torrejos said the PHO result shows that the Amorita area passed the total coliform test with only 172 mpn/100ml. However, it failed in the fecal coliform test, having 109mpn/100ml.

He explained that their medical technologist would mark it as “failed” if one of the two parameters is not met for safety.

Torrejos also noted that in the first sampling, the total coliform test on Alona Tropical area showed 2,000mpn/100ml.

However, at that time, they could not pinpoint as to the exact contributory to the contamination, considering that Amorita and the Hennan resort are nearby, in addition to the pumpboats anchored in the vicinity.

For Lost Horizon area, Torrejos said the samples passed the total coliform test, but failed in the fecal coliform test.

He explained though that if there is difference between the results from the PHO and that from the EMB-7, the EMB-7 results will prevail. He said the PHO sampling is just for counterchecking purposes.

Torrejos also explained that the PHO water laboratory is accredited to test fresh water quality for drinking in Bohol and not for testing seawaters. But just to come up with a parallel testing, the PHO initiated testing on the seawaters of Panglao.

The PHO laboratory is accredited by the Philippine National Water Standard, but they plan to get an accreditation from the national standard for seawater sampling.

“In the future we would like to get accreditation,” Torrejos said. (Angeline Valencia/PNA)