The Looc Fish Sanctuary, a source of pride in the province of Romblon's tourism industry, is renowned for its diverse marine ecosystem that safeguards over 100 species of aquatic life and their habitat. In addition, the sanctuary has gained popularity for its floating kiosk and an array of aquatic activities like snorkeling which have attracted a considerable number of visitors.
However, the rise in visitors also poses a significant threat to the sanctuary's ecosystem due to pollution caused by human activities.
With a monthly guest count of around 1,300 which spikes up during peak season in April and May, the conservation of the area and the safety of tourists demand an innovative solution. In answer to this, the DOST-MIMAROPA through its Provincial S&T Office in Romblon introduced the first-ever floating Modular Ecology-friendly Domestic Wastewater (MEDOWW) Treatment Facility that will maintain the sanctuary's protection and promote safe tourism practices.
It is connected to the sanctuary's floating platform and uses an eco-septic tank and biofilters to treat the wastewater from the improvised toilet.
The MEDOWW system, formerly known as Eco-Friendly Septic System is a DOST-funded technology created by a team of researchers at Adamson University led by Dr. Merlinda A. Palencia.
The system uses a three-stage filtration process to remove solid dirt particles from the wastewater.
To treat the wastewater, a non-toxic powdered solution called Vigormin is added once a week, rendering it clean and safe for discharge into the ocean.
The facility not only helps preserve the marine ecosystem but also ensures human comfort while allowing guilt-free waste discharge.
Earlier this year, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Renato Solidum personally visited the project in the town of Looc. (DOST/PJF/PIA Mimaropa)