Untreated Sewage Threatens Lake - Study

Article excerpt

MANILA, Philippines - Male carps that consume untreated sewage and urine dumped into Laguna de Bay have developed sexual abnormalities, getting lesions in the testis and acquiring an egg yolk protein precursor called vittelogenin found only in female fish.This was the findings of the study conducted by Dr. Michelle Grace V. Paraso, associate professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine of the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB-CVM), who confirmed the high levels of estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compound in country's biggest lake that poses a threat to fish health.Paraso said contaminated water and other pollutants will continue to cause reproductive abnormalities in male common carp, threatening the fish population unless authorities act swiftly on the matter.Paraso said the 94,900-hectare lake is the country's biggest and supports more than 13.6 million people, with nearly two million of them without access to proper sewage systems, particularly septic tanks.The impact of pollution on male carps should also be considered by government since Laguna de Bay is fast becoming a viable source of domestic water supply for the National Capital Region, with a water concessionaire drawing water from the lake, which has become too shallow at an average depth of 2.5 meters, according to a study undertaken by a Belgian company planning to undertake the P18.7-billion Laguna Lake Rehabilitation Project (LLRP).Paraso called for stricter pollution control at the lake. "Environmental laws, particularly those that focus on proper waste management, as well as basic sewage treatment systems need to be strictly enforced," she said.Paraso stressed in a recent seminar held at the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) in Los Banos, Laguna that the continuing degradation of the water quality at the lake will threaten not only male carp but also other fish species. …