Technological Institute of the Philippines

T.I.P. tapped for SUBICWATER Phytoremediation Project

(in photo) T.I.P. Senior Vice President Angelo Lahoz (third from right) and SUBICWATER CEO and General Manager Benjamin Antonio, III (fourth from left) during the MOU signing last March 2020

The Technological Institute of the Philippines (T.I.P.) is currently assisting Subicwater and Sewerage Co., Inc. (SUBICWATER) in its phytoremediation scale-up plans to meet the parameters stated in the Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards of 2016 (Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order No. 2016 series 08). The partnership was formalized last March 2020 in an agreement signing at the T.I.P. Quezon City TechnoCoRe building.

Under the partnership, the T.I.P. team shall conduct extensive research about the appropriate technologies and the scale-up model of the phytoremediation setup in one of the sewage treatment facilities of SUBICWATER. Through the process, the T.I.P. team is expected to deliver the design of the phytoremediation layout including the following: soil matrix; vegetation; hydraulics; and civil works. Supplementing the phytoremediation setup is the design for oil and grease reduction—another major factor in the compliance to DAO 2016. Further studies on the possible inclusion of a vortex water treatment system in the design will also be conducted.

Phytoremediation is a water filtration process that utilizes plants to help reduce contaminants in the environment. It is a more economic and greener alternative to conventional remediation practices or the removal of pollutants/contaminants from environmental media.

The collaborative applied research project between the two organizations involves experts from the T.I.P. Chemical Engineering, Environmental and Sanitary Engineering, and Civil Engineering departments. The Central Laboratory and Operations Analysis Department (CLOAD), Sewerage System Operations and Maintenance Department (SSOMD), and Research and Innovation Office (RIO) of SUBICWATER will work with T.I.P. in this endeavor.

“This collaboration with SUBICWATER, along with our other partners, is proof that the academe can play a vital role in the development of Philippine industries. We at T.I.P. are actively committed to these kinds of engagement with industry. With clean water being a basic human need, we are humbled that our engineering and technological expertise can be used to help SUBICWATER and the communities it serves,” commented T.I.P. Senior Vice President Mr. Angelo Lahoz.

Subic Water and Sewerage Co., Inc. (SUBICWATER) operates, maintains and improves the water and sewerage systems of Olongapo City and the Subic Bay Freeport, catering to more than 46,000 customer accounts in these areas. It is Southeast Asia’s pioneer company which introduced the first public-private partnership (PPP), build-operate-and transfer (BOT) model in the water and wastewater services industry; as well as the region’s first ISO-certified water utility company.

Since the issuance of DAO 2016, SUBICWATER has been working fervently on identifying and developing effective and efficient ways of wastewater treatment, including phytoremediation. From its current set-up, SUBICWATER targets to scale-up its phytoremediation system to treat 230 cubic meters of wastewater on a daily basis.

This project is being conducted through T.I.P. TechnoCoRe, T.I.P.’s thrust towards Industry-Academe Collaborative Applied Research. As an institutional direction, T.I.P. TechnoCoRe enables T.I.P. researchers and faculty members to engage in problem-solving endeavors with the school’s industry partners. These experiences not only translate to even more insightful mentoring of T.I.P. students in the classroom, but also answers Philippine businesses need to be even more impactful in their operations.

For more details regarding T.I.P. TechnoCoRe, visit tip.edu.ph or email [email protected]. You can also visit T.I.P.’s official social media accounts through @TIP1962official for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.