San Pablo City, Philippines – The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) has ordered the system removed or face an order of demolition until their technical team has evaluated it. Consequently, the Floating Green Filter was relocated on April 14th, two weeks after its original installation. It is now relocated behind the grotto in front of Sabang Hills Resort, also on Dagatan Blvd.
The Friends of the Seven Lakes Foundation, Inc. (FSLF) has set up a pilot project in Sampaloc Lake designed to help clean our lakes, rivers, and ponds with a low cost, low tech, low maintenance system using indigenous plants whose root systems are known to effectively clean domestic waste water coming from a neighbourhood community and provides oxygenation in the water. It is called Floating Green Filter (FGF) system. It is composed of floating bamboos with local plants (native species) and has a total area of 12 sqm. Designed to clean domestic waste water pollutants before they can spread out into the lake, the project was installed between Clydenjosh Restaurant and the Iglesia ni Kristo church, one meter away from a sewer outlet.
This location was chosen to test the effectiveness of the FGF system for the following reasons:
- The pollutants and their source are clearly identified, therefore the effects can easily be measured;
- The site is in close proximity to the community who will ultimately care for the system making monitoring and regular water quality testing convenient for them.
- The is within view of passers-by and joggers around the lake and therefore serves as an exhibit where they, as well as students from various schools, can learn about a simple, low cost natural green filter system that is capable of cleaning most of our fresh water bodies (rivers, lakes, and ponds).
The root system of the FGF is expected to be fully developed in 4-6 months. If the project exhibits positive results after this time, the project can be replicated in other areas around Sampaloc Lake or any other lake or river in the city. The system is cheap and simple to install. It is made of bamboo, rope, foam and some plastic pipes to hold the plants in place. It is so easy to make that anyone can build one.
Dr. Zhang Jin and Dr. Wang Min, from Hubei University in China are consultants of the project. They are environmental engineers. Dr. Zhang is a graduate of Bonn University in Germany where he lived for seven years during and after his doctoral studies. They have been doing this type of work for over a decade now. But it has never been done in the Philippines.
Because both Dr. Zhang and Dr. Wang are volunteers and they are university professors, FSLF has no control over the time and duration of their travel schedule. Their trip to San Pablo in March was not confirmed until a couple of weeks before their arrival. Thus, FSLF only had a small window of time to work with the consultants in setting up the Pilot Project. A few weeks prior to their arrival, FSLF conducted the necessary protocols to inform all concerned agencies and stakeholders by holding a forum, followed by consultations with the President of the Sampaloc Lake FARMC. FSLF also attended the weekly meetings of FARMC and spoke to the Barangay Captain of the concerned Barangay to explain and/or answer any questions regarding the FGF Pilot Project.
Other Cities and Municipalities have shown interest in the FGF and FSLF will soon schedule the installation of similar systems on their lakes and/or rivers.