The city government of Iriga through its General Services Office, working with six barangays situated along the banks of the Balos River, started clearing the river of water Lillies in anticipation of heavy rains that will be brought about by the predicted La Niña phenomenon.
The water lillies, with its sheer volume due to its prolific growth rate, clog waterways and impede the natural flow of the river causing it to overflow its banks and flood outlying areas. Water hyacinth (Scientific name: Eichhornia crassipes) is considered to be the most damaging aquatic plant worldwide.
Six barangays along the Balos River`s route, thus most affected by it during flooding, had committed its resources in order to clean up the floating menace. Barangays San Miguel, San Francisco, Francia, La Purisima, San Vicente and Sta. Cruz Sur, assigned five persons each in addition to 60 warm bodies provided by the city completes the necessary manpower to do the job. (chin)
In a related story, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau in Bicol (DENR-EMB5) declared Balos River in Iriga City as a Class B Water Body.
This was the findings of the DENR-EMB5 based on its evaluation and monitoring that was presented at the public hearing for the proposed classification of Balos River held December 10, 2009 at the Iriga City Coliseum.
Class B water classification based on beneficial usage refers to Recreational Water Class I for primary contact recreation such as bathing, swimming, skin diving, etc.
“The classification indicates that the quality of these water bodies should be maintained in safe and satisfactory condition according to their vital use pursuant to DENR Administrative Order No. 34 or the Revised Water Usage and Classification/Water Quality Criteria,” EMB Bicol Regional Director Gilbert C. Gonzales stressed.
The bureau since last year had pressed for the classification of Balos River, a recipient of the Clean Bicol Rivers Program after it classified another urban water body — the Sagumayon River in Legazpi City, via its Water Quality Management Section.
Tasked to look after waterbodies`quality, EMB Bicol conducted exploratory field survey and sampling as part of the initial stage in its reparations/planning for classification.
The parameters considered for classification are temperature, pH, Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and Oil/Grease (O/G).These served as data for classifying water bodies and results were the basis in arriving at proper recommendation on its classification. – Chin Pineda