Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Rainwater catchment tanks as solution to prevent flooding in Baguio City

People would think that those who live in elevated locations in the Philippines (like Tagaytay City, Antipolo City and Baguio City) are lucky in times of rains and storms because they don't experience flooding. Despite of this, Baguio City - the mountainous region in Luzon - is also susceptible to floods. 

In 2012, tropical storm Helen left the city submerged, and in 2013, typhoon Labuyo also left a massive devastation brought by its predecessor. More recent atmospheric aberrations tell us that more will come.

One of the ways floodwater can be reduced is through the use of rainwater catchment tanks. According to, Marni Evans defines rainwater harvesting:
Rainwater harvesting refers to the collection and storage of rain. Collection is usually from rooftops, and storage in catchment tanks. Stored water can be used for non-potable purposes such as irrigating lawns, washing cars, or flushing toilets. Rainwater harvesting systems can range from a simple barrel at the bottom of a downspout to multiple tanks with pumps and controls.

Everyone should really take part in saving water. There are a lot of ways to save water that can be useful in many different ways. Apart from lessening the enormous amount of water that can flood households and businesses, stored water can also be used to water the plants, water the surroundings like pavements and roads especially during extreme heat of the weather, and other non-potable uses.

When rain falls, the water is still clean, but it immediately catches pollutants from rooftops, pavement and other surrounding areas. Then this polluted water goes in drainage and into the streams. "Collecting rainwater from rooftops and directing it to storage tanks so it can later be used for irrigation or flushing decreases the volume and rate of runoff," explains Evans. 

A similar solution has been proposed by SM Mall in Baguio City. The mall plans to build a rainwater catchment tank to capture rainwater. After being treated by a sewage treatment plant, the rainwater will be reused by the mall in its operation, instead of sourcing its requirements from the local water district. This technology is already being implemented with success in SM Masinag in Antipolo, and SM BF (BF Homes; BF means Banco Filipino) in ParaƱaque City.

By doing this, we can help alleviate the pressing problems on flooding in the country. Even ordinary homes in Baguio City can also support this idea so flooding can be prevented. I wish that this would also be considered and studied by all the municipal districts in the country, regardless if the areas are flood-prone or not.

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