March 24, 2023
BLUEMING BURNHAM LAKE — The city government of Baguio through the City Environment and Parks Management Office, City Tourism Office, and Baguio Tourism Council launched the upgraded version of the Burnham Lake through the program dubbed “Blueming Burnham Lake” that is meant to enhance the status of the lake. The project is in partnership with the Greener Property and Leisure Management Services, Inc., the Department of Tourism, and Mega Tower. — Ofelia Empian

From murky to bluish green – that is now the color of Burnham Lake after the City Environment and Parks Management Office treated the lake with organic algaecide in an effort to clean one of the most frequented spots at Burnham Park.
The “restored” lake was formally introduced to the public Feb. 14 in time for the observance of Valentine’s Day, and to serve as a prelude to the Fluvial Parade, an event of the 2023 Panagbenga Festival.
Cepmo head Rhenan Diwas said they started applying algaecide first at the Wright Park reflection pool then the three-hectare wide lake. He said the change in color is a natural reaction when the algaecide interacts with water and other underwater plants and organisms, as well as due to refraction.
“Incidental lang ‘yung kulay. The algaecide is meant to clean the lake, (it is) not for your eyes only,” Diwas said, clarifying comments on social media that adding color to the lake is a superficial solution.
Treating the Wright Park reflection pool and the lake has long been the plan of the Cepmo to address the odor coming from stagnant water and decayed organic materials such as moss, leaves, branches, twigs, other plants, and food indiscriminately thrown into the water, but Diwas said the costs offered by some companies were expensive, which was why the Cepmo had to postpone procuring the algaecide.
Algaecides, which are commonly used in recreational bodies of water, inhibits the entry of ultravioletrays into the water which results in the death of harmful algae.
Too much algae results in less oxygen and more carbon dioxide, which gives rise to algal bloom, manifested through murky water and foul smelling mud.
When algal bloom is eliminated, bad odor is eliminated and the water becomes clearer.
Diwas said treating the Wright Park reflection pool and Burnham Park lake of algaecide will be a regular activity of the Cepmo as budget for its procurement is now part of the department’s maintenance and other operating expenses.
He added the lake, which is more pleasant to look at now, complements the budding activity at the area – leisure fishing.
He also assured the algaecide will not harm fishes in the pool and in the lake as this even
promotes a healthier environment for fishes and other underwater species to thrive.
He added desilting the lake is not yet necessary at this time.
He is hopeful this will entice more residents and tourists to visit the park and try boating or fishing.
The ceremonial introduction, called “Blueming Burnham Lake”, was done in cooperation with the City Tourism Office, Baguio Tourism Council, Greener Property and Leisure Management Services, Inc., and Mega Tower Residences. – Rimaliza A. Opiña