Rationale and Background of the study Of “Pantal River”
Water is used for basic needs like drinking, bathing, washing and in agricultural industries and fishing industries. These uses of water resources makes it an important in all ecosystems and in human development (Jwanya et.al.2014). The availability of good quality of water is an indispensable feature for preventing diseases and improving quality of human life. Human beings depend on water for their survival. Also, water is a raw material used for photosynthesis and therefore, is important for crop production as well as the fishing industry(Ibrahim et.al.2015).
Environmental Degradation (ED) is known as the deterioration of the environment due to the depletion of its source which is caused by environmental factors, among which is pollution. EDhad become a major concern globally particularly in water pollution, various pollutants found in the bodies of water like hydrocarbons, Phenols, Pesticides and various other organic compounds mix with water causing serious water pollution are thought to be the main factor which influences environmental degradation(Erick et al. 2016). Though natural water has many impurities, the contamination of water affects the lives on earth.(Ibrahim et.al. 2015). Checking water quality periodically provides an evidence to support decision making on health and environmental issues (MyersD.N, 2016).
According to the UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) study, approximately 2,000 cubic meters of solvent wastes, 22,000 tons of heavy metals, infectious wastes, biological sludge, lubricants and intractable wastes as well as 25 million cubic meters of acid/alkaline liquid wastes are improperly disposed annually in Metro Manila alone.
Furthermore, in the study of Claudio (2015), Data from the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB), showed that in the Philippines out of the 127 freshwater bodies being sampled, 47% were found to have good water quality, while 40% of those sampled were found to have fair water quality and 13% of the total water samples showed poor water quality. This is the reason why water borne diseases become prevalent in the country.
Recently, in 2017 the World Health Organizationconducted a research in the South East Asian countries which includes Philippines to check various health issues in these countries. It was found that poor sanitary facilities like open pit system is common.From the data the WHO advised to drink water after boiling but not directly from tap. (Dr.Poonam, 2017)
Dagupan City is surrounded by seven river which areManguragdat River, Tanap River, Dawel River, Calmay River, Pantal River and Patogcawen River. These rivers are used for aquaculture purposes such as breeding of fishes and other aquatic organisms. Pantal River is one of the major river found within the City extending from Pantal Barangay I to Lasip Chico. (Eva Visperas, 2016).Pantal river serves as the catchment basin of water from the up-steams and empty itself through the West Philippine Sea.
Also it serves the community that lives along the Lingayen Gulf as aquaculture sites. The fish pen within the river are regulated by the City Government of Dagupan and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). In an article of the Philippines star published on 15thday of the March 2017 discussed the current state of the river where according to the report, the Pantalriver is considered contaminated and cannot support a healthy environment. This current situation pose a great threat among the organism thriving in the river, the people living in the community and the health of the river itself.
In this regard, this study aims to determine the present physical and chemical properties of Pantal River at different sites. Furthermore, this study aims to determine the health of the water quality of the River understudy through comparison of the data from that of the standards.
Physicochemical characteristics such as pH and dissolved oxygen may determinesthe integrity of water ecosystem. Usually, water quality is determined by comparison of chemical and physical properties of a water sample with water quality standards (Eman, 2015). Furthermore, High levels of pollutants in river water systems causes an increase in biological oxygen demand (BOD), (TDS) Total suspended solids (TSS) and faecal coliform thus making such water unsuitable for drinking, irrigation and aquatic life (Tytler, 2015).
According to Clean Water Act (Republic act no. 9275, 2004), it is important to preserve and protect the quality of country’s freshwater, brackish water and marine water with the growing economy of the State. An important objective of the Clean Water Act is to monitor the quality of the water because it has the concerns about the public health and ecological protection. Furthermore, under Pollution Control Law, Discharge of waste water into any water body is prohibited in the Philippines. (Claudio, 2015)
A similar law named Pollution control law (Republic act 3931) also insisted to set up National water and air pollution advisory commission by the government. The commission was asked to conduct experiments, investigations and research to discover social practical chaos related to the pollution. The main duty of the organization is to determine the pollution level in the air and water. It also encouraged voluntary involvement of people, Non-Governmental Organizations, associated industries etc. to take part in the cleaning program. The law was approved on 18th June 1964. (The Chan-Robles Group)