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Chapter 1


1.1 Introduction

Water is essential for the sustainability of human and animal needs. It is also vital
for the growth of industry and agricultural sectors. Water is classified into different
types depending on its composition and usage. Some of its forms are groundwater,
freshwater, or surface water. (Differences). According to Igor Shiklomanov’s chapter
“World Fresh Water Resources”, the earth’s water is mainly composed of ocean and
only 2.5% of it is freshwater. Out of the small percentage, he also stated that 30.1% of
it is groundwater while 1.2% is composed of surface water which serves most of life’s
needs. Based on his study, 20.9% of surface water is composed of lakes while only
0.49% of the water are rivers. (See Figure 1.1 for the Earth’s Water Distribution)

Earth's Water
1.2 3.8
30.1 20.9

68.7 69

r r
e e er
at at at
s hw s hw
ba e e
lo Fr r
g e
ta th
To o

Figure 1.1 Earth’s Water

Source: Igor Shiklomanov’s chapter: “World’s fresh water resources”

In the Philippines, freshwater is used for agricultural, domestic, and industrial

purposes. According to the River Basin Coordinating Office (RBCO) of the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), the Philippines
freshwater is composed of 421 principal rivers, 79 natural lakes and groundwater
aquifers of about 50,000 square kilometers.

While it is true that the country has a lot of available freshwater, reports have
shown that the water quality is already affected by pollution. Data from the
Environmental and Management Bureau (EMB), Philippines showed that out of the
127 freshwater bodies being sampled, 47% percent were found to have good water
quality. However, 40% of those sampled were found to have only fair water quality,
while 13% showed poor water quality.

One of the major contributor of water pollution is the untreated wastewater

from different industries. Wastewater, also known sewage, is mainly composed of
human fecal material, domestic wastes including wash-water and industrial wastes. It
contain organic particles, dissolved matter, suphates and nitrogenous compounds,
which contaminate natural resources.

According to the “Law of Conservation of Mass” by scientist Antoine

Lavoisier, “mass is neither created nor destroyed”. So after the water is used, it does
not just disappear in the system. It has to go somewhere. Although Nature has the
ability to treat waste, humans must not be abusive of this perks. For nature also has its
limitation. Because when untreated sewage coming from different facilities
combined, it brings negative effects on the environment as well as on the growth of
marine life.

Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University (DHVTSU) is one of the

leading State University in Central Luzon and a producer of quality individuals that
contributes with the improvement of society. The university was formerly known as
Don Honorio Ventura College of Arts and Trades and is located at Cabambangan,
Bacolor, Pampanga.

Figure 1.2 DHVTSU’S Facade

Due to the absence of a centralized sewer system that could collect the sewage
from Bacolor, Pampanga, the university has been using the septic tank system in
treating its sewage. It is with accordance to P.D. 856 (Code on Sanitation of the
EXCRETA DISPOSAL AND DRAINAGE under Sec. 75. Septic Tanks. Where a

public sewerage system is not available, sewer outfalls from residences, schools, and
other buildings shall be discharged into a septic tank.

Figure 1.3 Septic tanks in DHVTSU

Based on Sec. 76. Disposal of Septic Tank Effluent. States that the effluent from
septic tank shall be discharged into a subsurface soil, absorption field where
applicable or shall be treated with some type of a purification device. The treated
effluent may be discharged into a stream or body of water if it conforms to the quality
standards prescribed by the National Water and Air Pollution Control Commission.
Upon observation, some of the wastewater including raw sewage from canteens and
bathroom sinks were discharged on the drainage system including the outflow of the
septic tanks and then mixed with storm water. According to the Implementing Rules
and Regulations of Chapter XVII “Sewage Collection and Disposal, Excreta Disposal
and Drainage” of the Code on Sanitation of the Philippines under Section 3.2.3
Disposal of Sewage states that untreated sewage and effluent of septic tank or other
putrescible or offensive wastes shall not be discharged onto the surface of the ground
or into any street, road, alley, open excavation, storm water sewer, land drain ditch,
adjoining property, watercourse or body of water.

Figure 1.4 Raw sewage discharging on canals Figure 1.5 Outlet of septic tank

Domestic sewage refers mainly to

effluents from human activities
Figure discharged from residential,
1.5 Raw sewage discharging on canals commercial, office, and
other facilities. It is a mixture of water with organic and inorganic constituents like
dissolved and suspended materials taken from excreta, urine, food wastes, and
wastewater from bathing, washing, and laundering.

According to the study of UNICEF and WHO, 5% of the population are

connected to sewer network. And 10% of wastewater is treated while 58% of
groundwater is contaminated. Since sludge treatment and disposal are rare, domestic
wastewater is discharged without treatment.

In 2025, water availability was estimated to be marginal in 8 of the 19 major

river basins in the Philippines. Waterborne diseases remain a severe public health
concern in the country and 4200 people die each year due to drinking water

In spite of the alarming issues, some places in the country are taking steps to
save the nature on water pollution. Some are using technologies that could treat
different types of wastewater.

Concessionaires like Manila Water and Maynilad were just some of the
agencies who are making efforts for the improvement of sanitation in National Capital
Region. According to Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, Manila Water
holds 37 Sewage Treatment Plants including Magallanes Wastewater Treatment Plant
and UP Wastewater Treatment Plant in Quezon City. The latter estimated to have
installed 260 km of sewer network and as of December 2013, the coverage of
facilities connected to the Sewerage system is only 12%. As for the Maynilad, 11
Sewage Treatment Plant are working for the Manila Central Sewerage System, Dagat-
Dagatan, Alabang, Makati Isolated System QC Communal Systems, San Juan
catchment STPs. As of December 2013, Maynilad has 11% Sewerage Coverage. For
the year 2037, those companies are targeting to have a fully centralized treatment
facility for sewage.

In Pampanga, establishing of a sewerage system is also a concern by officials.

In Clark Pampanga, the community was connected into a centralized sewage
treatment facility that treats different kind of wastewater before discharging it to a
receiving body. The method used by the designers was the Activated Sludge Method
which is consist of series of ponds to treat wastewater and a chlorination tank to
further have a safe discharge of effluent. For the transportation of sewage into the
facility, the designers used lift stations and gravity sewer system.

For the feasibility of constructing a sewerage treatment facility in a university,

articles have shown that campuses like De La Salle University- Dasmariñas,
University of the Philippines and Adamson University have their own sewage
treatment plant inside the campus. Considering DHVTSU’s growing population, it
would not be impossible for the university to have construct its own sewage treatment

1.2 Related Literature and Studies

The population in the world is growing in an alarming rate. But a lot of people
ignore the fact that it affects the global sanitation due to major increase in waste

generation. As a result, the governments tried and still trying to replace or improve
existing waste management such as collection and disposal of sewage.

1.2.1 Septic Tanks

Regarding the sewage collection and treatment, a lot of people are just familiar
about the conventional septic tanks that we usually use in our respective homes and
other small structures. These tanks are being used to collect sewage especially
blackwater which comes from the toilets. They are commonly designed to accumulate
wastewater in a two-chamber tank wherein the first chamber, the solids will retain and
settle while the liquids will flow to the other which is the leaching field and directed
into the soil. According to a study in Islamic Azad University last 2016, 25% in US,
15% in Australia and 4% of population in UK use the septic tank system as their way
of treating their sewage. This shows that not only underdeveloped countries adapt this
system. The effectiveness of this will depend on the design like shapes of the tanks,
capacity base on the population and the process that occurs in it.

The standard design of these before have two-chamber tanks but in Davao,
Philippines, with the Davao City Ordinance No. 0363-10 Series of 2010 also known
as Septage and Sewerage Management Ordinance of Davao City, they now require all
their households and establishments to install a three-chamber septic tanks instead of
the traditional one. It will now have a sealed bottom compared to the design before
which only have a gravel bed to avoid contamination of the ground water. But this
ordinance had a conflict to the Department of Health guidelines stated in the
Plumbing Code of the Philippines where the residents and establishments are only
required to have two-chamber septic tanks. Joseph Felizarta, an Assistant City
Building Official lawyer, said that they don’t require those who are in dry areas in the
city to have that three-chamber but those who are near to the bodies of water need to
do so. He also said that the focus of the ordinance was really about the sewerage
system and treatment facility because whether they use that two-chamber or three-
chamber septic tanks, they will still have to treat the wastewater for the process in the

septic tanks is just a primary treatment. That was why they had to install sewerage
systems to collect sewages and direct it to a treatment plant.

1.2.2 Sewage

Sewage and sewage effluents are the major sources of water pollution. Sewage is
mainly composed of human fecal material, domestic wastes including wash-water and
industrial wastes. The growing environmental pollution needs for decontaminating
wastewater result in the study of characterization of waste water, especially domestic
sewage. In the past, domestic waste water treatment was mainly confined to organic
carbon removal. Recently, increasing pollution in the waste water leads to developing
and implementing new treatment techniques to control nitrogen and other priority
pollutants. Sewage can be characterized as blackwater, greywater, or stormwater.
According to study, blackwater has the more number of fecal coliform count.

1.2.3 Effluent
The Greenpeace’s Report: The State of Water Sources of the Phillippines states that,
the major sources of water pollution is the inadequately treated domestic wastewater
or sewage with a percentage of 48%, while the agricultural wastewater and industrial
wastewater with a percentage of 37% and 15% respectively.
This Effluent Standards is based on DENR Administrative Order No. 2016-08,
Water Quality Guidelines and General Effluent Standards of 2016
Classification of Water Bodies. For purposes of maintaining water quality
according to its intended beneficial usage, the following classification of water bodies
shall be adopted. See Table 1.4 for Water Body Classification and Usage of

Water Body Classification and Usage of Freshwater

Classification Intended Beneficial Use

Class AA Public Water Class I – Intended primarily for waters having
watersheds, which are uninhabited and/ or otherwise
declared as protected areas, and which require only approved

disinfection to meet the latest PNSDW.

Class A Public Water Class II – Intended as source of water supply
requiring conventional treatment (coagulation,
sedimentation, filtration and disinfection) to meet the latest
Class B Recreational Water Class I – Intended for primary contact
recreation (bathing, swimming, etc.)
Class C 1. Fishery Water for the propagation and growth of fish
and other aquatic resources.
2. Recreational Water Class II – For boating, fishing, or
similar activities.
3. For agriculture, irrigation, and livestock watering.
Class D Navigable waters.

Water Quality Guidelines. The rules and regulations established in this

section are intended to maintain and preserve the quality of all water bodies based on
their intended beneficial usage and to prevent and abate pollution and contamination
to protect public health, aquatic resources, crops and other living organisms.

Water Body Classification

Parameter Unit
BOD mg/L 1 3 5 7 15 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Chloride mg/L 250 250 250 350 400 n/a n/a n/a n/a
Color TCU 5 50 50 75 150 5 50 75 150
Oxygen(a) mg/L 5 5 5 5 2 6 6 5 2
Fecal MPN/1000m <1. <1. 20
<1.1 100 200 400 100 400
Coliform L 1 1 0
Nitrate as
mg/L 7 7 7 7 15 10 10 10 15
pH(Range) 6.5- 6.5- 6.5 6.5 6.0 7.0- 7.0 6.5 6.0
8.5 8.5 - - - 8.5 - - -

8.5 9.0 9.0 8.5 8.5 9.0

Phosphate mg/L 0.5 0.5 0.5 5 0.1 0.1 0.5 5
Temperature( 26- 26- 25- 25- 26- 26- 25- 25-
̊̊C 26-30
30 30 31 32 30 30 31 32
Suspended mg/L 25 50 65 80 110 25 50 80 110

1.2.4 Effluent Standards

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has set a standard,
also known as DAO 2016-08 to monitor the wastewater discharging from different
bodies of water.

1.2.6 Sewage Treatment Plants

The construction of sewage treatment plant will prevent the untreated

wastewater to enter a receiving body which can worsen and even start the pollution.
In recent years in UK, all wastewater whether they are domestic or industrial must be
treated and pass the standard set by the European Union directive to avoid significant
damage to the environment. The Council Directive 91/271/EEC is concern about the
sewage treatment and it was adopted by the country since May 21, 1991. Its main
goal is to protect the nature to the harmful disposal or management of sewage.

Last 2013, there was an article which says that the National Sewerage and
Septage Management Program (NSSMP), a program by the DENR Philippines, seeks
to provide proper sanitation systems in the country by 2020. They are more willing to
invest in infrastructures like sewage treatment plants to remove and treat wastes from
water and allows it to be reused for other purposes.

The NSSMP also identified cities to be especially targeted by the initiative

during those times. These are the highly urbanized cities or HUCs who experienced
the worst sewage systems due to overpopulation, pollution, and unchecked
commercial developments.

Included in the list are the cities of Baguio, Cebu, Angeles, Tacloban, San
Pablo, General Santos, and Zamboanga. These were set to receive 40% of the costs
for their sewerage projects from DPWH. Aside from the mentioned places above,
there are still a lot of spots in the country today that needs to improve their sewage

A very familiar issue about this dilemma was the situation of Boracay which
recently had its rehabilitation for six months due to its poor waste treatment. Boracay
is one of the most visited tourist spot in the Philippines. It is well-known with its
white sand beaches. But it reached the point where they got their tourists and visitors

very disappointed because of the raw sewage that reportedly being dumped to its
waters and there are complaints about its smell. According to the officials, a lot of
businesses and local residents are not connected to the underground sewer lines so
untreated wastewaters are flowing through the drainage system and discharging to the
natural waters of the island. Prior to this, The Department of Environment and
Natural Resources (DENR) mandated all establishments there to put up their
respective sewage treatment plants (STPs). In a memorandum released, Environment
Secretary Roy Cimatu said hotels, resorts and similar establishments with 50 rooms
and above should have their own STP while those with 49 rooms and below should
have a clustered if not a separate STP. He also said that if they do not comply with
this order, they will be issued for closure. So they really should follow and make sure
that they improve their sewage management.

Building a sewage treatment plants in tourist spots like Boracay will be a good
investment according to the DENR secretary, Roy Cimatu. He said that it’s better to
have it now than to wait for worst scenarios that can happen. He also explained that
the NSSMP can give a 50 percent grant for cities and first class municipalities to help
them construct their sewage treatment systems. So according to him for now, Boracay
has a good sewage treatment but the challenge is to ensure that the whole island will
be connected to it and hopes that they can accomplish it by 2020 or by 2022.

1.2.7. Technologies used in treating wastewater

Sewage treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater,

primarily from household sewage. It includes physical, chemical, and biological
processes to remove these contaminants and produce environmentally safe treated
wastewater (or treated effluent).

Below are the different technologies used in treating sewage in the Philippines

Design Advantages Disadvantages

Conventional Activated  Common and proven  Susceptible to filamentous
Sludge Process (CASP) process sludge bulking
 Adaptable to many types of  Foaming can be a concern

wastewater  May need additional

 Uncomplicated design facilities for BNR
 Need for return sludge
 Typically small systems –  Long aeration time, larger
less than 2 MGD (5 reactor. Typical HRT > 24 hr.
m3/min)  Higher aeration
 Flexible operation with requirement due to
placement and use of typically long SRT
aerators – can be used for  Mechanical aeration
nutrient removal equipment (rotors, large
Oxidation Ditch (Extended
 Very stable process turbines)required to move
Aeration) Activated Sludge
 No primary clarifier – water around the channel
simpler sludge handling as well as aerate. Can
 Good settling create zones of high oxygen
characteristics and add maintenance costs.
More recent designs use
diffusers for aeration and
reduce mechanical
 Simplified process  Process control are more
 Final clarifiers and RAS complicated
pumping are not required  High peak flows can disrupt
Sequencing Batch Reactor  Compact design operation unless accounted
(SBR)  Operation is flexible, for in design
nutrient removal can be
accomplished by
operational changes
 There is no return activated  Can have problems with
sludge (RAS) and sludge media carryover on system
production is minimized start-up, with reports of
 Compatible with a small intermittent bed motility
footprint and system crashes
 Comes with a budget-  Media density changes over
Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor friendly operating and time with biofilm
(MBBR) maintenance expenses accumulation, necessitating
 Flexible design that allows a bed growth management
for increased capacity strategy
 Can require relatively
expensive plumbing to
ensure that media is not
back-siphoned on pump
shut-down or power failure
Membrane Bioreactor  Higher volumetric loading  High capital cost
(MBR) rates, thus shorter HRT  Limited data on membrane
 Longer SRT resulting in life
lesser sludge production  Potential high cost of
 Produces high quality periodic membrane

effluent replacement
 Compact design  Higher energy cost
 Need to control membrane
 High contact time and high  Continuous electricity
effluent quality (both BOD supply required
and nutrients)  Contact media not available
 High process stability, at local market
resistant to shock hydraulic  High investment as well as
or organic loading operation and maintenance
 Short contact periods are costs
required because of the  Must be protected against
Rotating Biological large active surface sunlight, wind and rain
Contactors (RBC)  Low space requirement (especially against freezing
 Well drainable excess in cold climates)
sludge collected in clarifier  Odour problems
 Process is relatively silent  Requires permanent skilled
compared to dosing pumps technical labor for
for aeration operation and maintenance
 No risk of channeling
 Low sludge production

1.3 Statement of the Problem

Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University Main Campus is using

septic tank system in collecting wastewater generated by different toilet facilities
inside the university. With the absence of a sewerage treatment facility, the
wastewater is just partially treated. Another concern is that some of the outlet of the
septic tanks are directed towards the storm drains instead of a soakaway or leaching
field due to lack of available space causing possible contamination of storm water
especially when septic tanks are overflowing that sometimes produce foul odor on
canals. In terms of design, some of the septic tanks in the university are not
completely sealed at the bottom. The first chamber is usually the only compartment
which has a concrete slab and the second compartment is just embedded with gravel
and is already considered as the leachate of the system. Considering that the outlet of
the septic tank is directed on drainage system, concerns about the quality of effluent
discharge also arises. In addition, the untreated wastewater generated from sinks,

kitchens, and canteens inside the university were discharging directly on the drainage
system and flows out on the receiving body untreated.

1.4 Objectives

The main objective of this study is to design the sewage treatment plant of
Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University (Main Campus).

The specific objectives of the study are:

- To determine the wastewater quality of the university if it complies with

the DENR DAO 16-08.
- To compute for the wastewater volume generated by the university.
- To design the sewerage pipe system that will transport the wastewater into
the treatment facility.
- To design the process of sewage treatment plant especially the
electromechanical aspect and design of tanks for the handling of untreated

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study is significant for the improvement of sewage disposal of the

university for it will help the school to treat its own wastewater before discharging it
to a body of water.

The study will allow the university to treat its own sewage by having a sewage
treatment facility inside the campus. As well as allowing the school to re-use the
treated wastewater for water gardening etc.

The study will help the school to safely discharge its wastewater on receiving
body into an acceptable standard set by Department of Environment and Natural
Resources in the DAO 2016- 08 Water Quality Standards and General Effluent

The study is also significant for future researchers to further improve the
technology to be used for the treatment of wastewater of the university.

1.6 Scope and Delimitation

1.6.1 Scope of the study

The population study is limited for the students enrolled at DHVTSU Main
Campus. The teaching and non- teaching personnel were included for they also
consume water inside the university.

The study chose the proposed parking area taken at the 5- year site
development plan of the university to be the location of the proposed sewage
treatment plant for it is the only space available for the construction of the facility.

The treatment facility focuses on the treatment of domestic sewage generated

by different facilities inside the university.

Water quality sampling was conducted at the drainage outfall of the university,
as all of the sewage coming from the campus is directed to it. Water quality sampling
of the possible discharged point of treated wastewater was also take into consideration
so as to prove the quality of effluent discharge by the treatment facility is effective
and complies the standards of DAO 2016- 08.

The study includes the design of sewerage pipe system that will transport the
wastewater from different collection points to the proposed treatment facility.

The study chose the Sequential Batch Reactor as the technology to be used for
the design of the sewage treatment facility because of its cheaper cost and easy
operational status.

1.6.2 Delimitation of the Study

The detailed plumbing lay- out plan from the point of discharge of wastewater to the
main sewer lines.

The volume of storm water draining in the canal.

The detailed evaluation of the effectiveness of septic tanks in the university.


1.7 Conceptual Framework









Figure 1.8 Conceptual Framework


1.8 Definition of Terms

Aeration – it is the process of injecting air or oxygen into water to remove dissolved

Aerobic Digestion – it is a treatment process that uses bacteria and oxygen to break
down organic and biological wastes.

Anaerobic Digestion – it is a treatment process that uses bacteria and oxygen to

break down organic and biological wastes.

Blackwater - is any wastewater that comes from bathrooms and toilets.

BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) – it the amount of dissolved oxygen needed to

oxidize organic matter in a water sample.

Centralized Systems – this system uses a series of sewer pipes and pumps to collect
sewage and to transport it to treatment plants.

Chlorination - the application of chlorine to water to disinfect it.

COD (Chemical Oxygen Demand) – the amount of oxygen used in chemical

oxidation of the water sample to breakdown the wastes.

Combined Sewer – it is a pipe system that carries both sewage and storm water run-

Effluent – it is the final output flow after the completion of any performed treatment

Gravity Sewer - is an underground piping system which is sloping downwards that

brings water from the source to the destination.

Greywater – wastewater coming from lavatories or sinks, laundry and bathing.

Grit Chamber - a chamber or tank wherein the influent is being slowed down so that
the heavy solids can be removed.

Influent – it is the untreated wastewater or raw sewage coming into a sewage

treatment plant.

Manholes - are masonry chambers constructed at advisable intervals along the sewer
lines so man can have an access to them.

Separate System – it is a system with two different pipes used. One for the sanitary
flow or the sewage and another pipe for the rainwater.

Septage - is an infectious material that includes liquids, solids, oils and grease that
accumulate in a septic tank.

Septic Tank – a type of settlement tank where sludge is retained for digestion and
allow liquid to be discharged to a leaching field or directly to treatment facility.

Sewage – refers to any wastewater containing human, animal or vegetable wastes.

Sewage Treatment Plant - a facility where sewage is being treated and purifies
contaminated substances.

Sewer – it is the general term for the system of pipes which carries sewage and

Sewerage - it is the removal of waste materials through sewer system that includes
collecting, transporting and pumping of sewage.

Sludge – refers to the solid waste material produced which settles out in the process
of sewage treatment.

Water Table – it is the depth or the level below the ground where the soil is saturated
with water.