DOST launches 'game-changing’ water pollutant treatment

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

April 17, 2023, 8:09 pm

MANILA – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) on Monday inaugurated the plant-based treatment to reduce water pollutants at the SUBICWATER in Zambales.

DOST Undersecretary Leah Buendia told the Philippine News Agency that the technology used plants such as vetiver grass, phragmites vulgaris and canna lily.

"The treatment also uses vortex technology which induces the formation of vortex in wastewater for aeration and thereby reduces pollutant gases," Buendia said.

This collaborative project was done through the DOST's Collaborative Research and Development to Leverage Philippine Economy (CRADLE) program that allows researchers to partner with at least one Filipino private company, which will then shoulder at least 20 percent of the counterpart funding, and commit to adopting the technology.

The DOST, the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) and SUBICWATER teamed up to develop a phytoremediation technology to remove traces of fat, oil and grease from water sources. The project uses vortex technology for SUBICWATER's sewage treatment facility.

Buendia said the DOST allocated PHP4.6 million for this project, while the TIP and SUBICWATER shouldered PHP2.5 million and PHP1.2 million, respectively.

The official also said the rollout of this technology in other areas would depend if SUBICWATER will use it in other sites.

“With this game-changing wastewater treatment facility, we anticipate a reduction of operational costs for industries with the use of cost-effective technology for treating wastewater effluents. Ultimately, we can look forward to an improvement in water quality and the protection of aquatic ecosystems, especially in Subic," Buendia said in a statement.

Meanwhile, according to the DOST, this project arose from SUBICWATER's need to reduce pollutants such as heavy metals, ammonia, nitrates and phosphates.

The project will help reduce the concentration of pollutants from effluents through an integrated constructed wetland or reed bed system, it said. (PNA)