Climaco orders water quality check on Zambo’s deep wells PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 June 2016 14:07

By SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

Mayor Beng Climaco on Monday directed the City Health Office (CHO) to check the water quality of deep wells particularly those located within the 7-kilometer radius as part of the city’s water security and safety efforts.

This, as Zamboanga City is still reeling from the effects of the acute gastroenteritis outbreak declared last April 25 when AGE cases were noted to be beyond the epidemic threshold. The rising gastroenteritis cases were said to be derived from contaminated water and food which, however, can be eliminated or contained by introducing new policies and procedures to ensure the safe drinking of water. The outbreak can likewise be contained by implementing programs, projects and activities to safeguard and ensure the practice of proper hygiene and sanitation in food preparation.

“The instruction is for the CHO to inspect all wells that are infected and to check on septic tanks in the periphery,” the mayor declared during the press briefing Monday.

At the height of the rising AGE cases, CHO sanitary inspectors initiated random water sampling and out of the 20 deep wells examined, 18 were found positive of e-coli; 1 positive of coliform bacteria and 1 negative of bacteria, according to Assistant City Health Officer Dr. Kibtiya Uddin.

This happens, Uddin said, due to the non-compliance to the 25 meter distance between septic tanks and deep wells as stipulated in the Sanitation Code of the Philippines.

The thorough check of water quality in deep wells is one of the recommendations of the USAID-Be Secure Project which is partnering with the City Government in water security and safety efforts.

CHO personnel will have to coordinate with the City Engineer’s Office and Be Secure Project in the conduct of the inspection as well as in coming up with appropriate actions.

Nonetheless, Uddin said residents have been advised never to drink water from deep wells unless prior measures have been instituted such as water boiling or performedwater disinfection. — Sheila Covarrubias