The Butuanon River was declared biologically dead in 1992 by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on account of its polluted state. It is facing severe pollution issues due to various activities such as domestic sewage, solid waste disposal, and industrial waste disposal. The pollution in the Butuanon River is causing harmful effects on its marine life and on the human health of the river users. The lack of management of the pollution sources, the government's failure to strictly enforce the environmental laws, and the river users disregard for the laws are worsening the problem, making it difficult to maintain the water quality standards of the river.
One of the specific problems that was observed in the Butuanon River Upstream is the disposal of septic and sewage wastes into the river through the pipes embedded in the riprap by the locals residing along the river, and the plastic waste pollution due to the irresponsible waste disposal. A relatively minor issue in the Butuanon River is the flooding experienced by the residents during heavy rains.
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