Effects of polluted estero

According to DENR, the polluted esteros causes diseases such as leptospirosis,
malaria, dengue, hepatitis A, hepatitis E, diarrhea and typhoid fever. The department
records 55 people dying every day from the said diseases caused by lack of proper
sewerage and sanitation facilities. The problem of the people living nearby the esteros is
the rancid smell from the creeks and when the storm hits the area, the people needs to
evacuate by means of walking through the flood waters. The flood waters mostly
contaminated by rat urines that causes fatal infection when in contact with wounds.
The improper management practices, insufficient and inefficient infrastructure of
the government and the irresponsibility of the Filipinos is the major problem of why the
esteros in the Philippines was contaminated by feces, garbage, and different chemicals
such as lead, copper, zinc, mercury, etc. Such contamination affects the body of water
and the fishes living underneath. The effect of drinking such contaminated water will lead
to diarrhea and can also kill people because of its unknown chemical contents.
The esteros can only support or contains hardiest species like water hyacinths and
janitor fish according to A.Valmero (2016). Manila’s water quality problem is not just about
the environment but also about the flooding cause by the storms, public health and quality
of life. Even in moderate rains, the garbage’s are floating and clogs the waterways and
keeps them from draining properly. Tributaries contains sediments from organic matter
overflow, sending flood waters into riverside communities.
Most of the esteros is connected to rivers. If the esteros is contaminated so do the
rivers too. As stated by J.L.Mayuga (2019), rivers are economically important because
they are the major source of natural food such as fish, shellfish and other food that
naturally occurs in the rivers. Healthy rivers matters, because it’s a key for the survival
not only for human but also for the wildlife animals. But for the Philippines, rivers and
esteros are severely polluted and fish cannot possibly survive and if it does such fishes
are contaminated and unsafe to consume by humans. Rivers that are heavily polluted is
considered to be dead and one of the river that is recognized by the scientists as
biologically dying river is the Tullahan River which starts at the La Mesa Reservoir in
Quezon City that flows through Malabon and Valenzuela and empties into the Manila Bay.
As a mere drainage channels, esteros are now loaded with different sorts of
pollutants from the areas and catchment each of esteros serve. The communities along
the estero banks are the symptoms of the real disease. Clearing up the estero banks will
not necessarily solve the entire problem in water pollution. It will just deodorize or stink
but not address the source of the rot (T.G.Listanco 2016).
As stated by A.M.Helmenstine, Ph.D. (2019), Mercury is a shiny silver liquid metal,
and sometimes called quicksilver. A transition metal with an atomic number of 80 in
periodic table and an atomic weight of 200.59 and element symbol Hg. Mercury is the
only metal that is liquid at standard and pressure and has a very high surface tension
compared to water, so it forms rounded beads of liquid. It is used in thermometer to
determine body temperatures but it is known to be highly toxic. Other name for mercury
is Hydrargyrum that comes from the Greek words hydr – means water and argyros –
means silver and also it names after the Roman God Mercury. Mercury does not react
with most acids. Mercury’s electron configuration causes it to behave like a noble gas.
The good container choice to hold and trasport mercury is iron.
Mercury is known in Chinese and Hindus and found in 3500 year old Egyptian
tombs. It is primarily obtain from mineral cinnabars (HgS). Spain and Italy produces half
of the world’s supply of mercury. Mercury is used to produce thermometers, barometers
and other scientific apparatus. Its vapor used in streetlights, fluorescent lamps and
advertising signs. It forms useful compounds if combines with other elements like
Mercuric chloride (HgCl2) which is a very poisonous salt that can be used to disinfect
wounds, Mercurous chloride (Hg2Cl2) also called calomel which is used as antiseptic that
used to kill bacterias, Mercuric sulfide (HgS) which is used to make red paint pigment
called vermillion, and Mercuric oxide (HgO) which is used to make batteries (J.Lab).
The study is focused on assessment of mercury in water, sediments and wastes
from three (3) different estero which are the Estero de Balete in San Marcelino, Estero de
Paco in Paco Manila and Estero de Pandacan in Pandacan Manila. The determination of
mercury is possible through the use of mercury analyzer. The samples to be taken in the
esteros will be tested in the laboratory to know if the contaminated water contains
mercury. The process must determine the total mercury that is present in the samples
taken from the esteros.
The parameters tested includes the acquiring of total mercury from the
contaminated water samples taken, BOD, COD, pH, Color, Ammonia, Oil and Grease,
TSS, Chromium (VI), Cadmium and Lead. Analyses were done at Philippine Nuclear
Research Institute in Quezon City.

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