GNF - Lake Sampaloc

Lake Sampaloc – Philippines


Project on site:

Clean Water for the World
The construction of a green filter will purify the wastewater produced.

Background Lake Sampaloc

Lake Sampaloc is one of seven interconnected crater lakes in the Province of Laguna, only 70 kilometer southeast of Metro Manila. Lake Sampaloc is the biggest and the most famous of the seven lakes, located in the heart of San Pablo City known as “City of Seven Lakes” - Bunot, Palakpakin, Mohicap, Yambo, Pandin, Calibato and Sampaloc. These lakes are an important resting ground for migratory birds from the north (China and Japan), e. g. White Egrets.


The Seven Crater Lakes of San Pablo City

The seven lakes are rather small: Sampaloc (1.04 sq. km), Palakpakin (0.43 sq. km), Calibato (0.42 sq. km), Bunot (0.35 sq. km), Yambo (0.28 sq. km), Pandin (0.20 sq. km) and Mohicap (0.14 sq. km). Approx. 250,000 people live in the city region of San Pablo City.


Lake Sampaloc has a maximum depth of 27 meter, the average depth is 20 m. Its width is 1.2 km.


Commercial fish farming at Lake Sampaloc

In 1976, the very first fishing cages were used at the Lake Sampaloc to breed cultured tilapia. 1982 the cages already covered a surface of 6 hectare – almost 5.6 % of the lake surface. Additionally seven years later the cages covered 28 hectares correspond approximately 27 % of the lake’s surface. Nowadays about 40 up to 70 % (seasonal) of the lake’s surface is covered, although only 10 % are legally fixed.


Excess fish feed increases the nutrient level of the lake water, while the big amount of farmed fish and the increasing growth of green algae lower the dissolved oxygen content. There out a grave decrease of the water quality resulted during the last couple of years. Since the Lake Sampaloc is a body of standing water, it has no assimilative capacity which could counteract this ongoing pressure and pollution.


Further pressures through human activities

The Lake Sampaloc has been sorely affected by human impacts for the last decades. Along the shore of the lake several illegal buildings, like restaurants, night clubs, and shanties were constructed. The arising waste and wastewater went right into the lake without any treatment, with the result, that the pollution increased constantly.


For some time now, the drinking water supply for the local population is ensured by springs and fountains of water catchment areas and no longer by the lake water.

 Lake Sampaloc with Mount Cristobal in background
 Overview of the Seven Crater Lakes and San Pablo City
 Fish cages in Lake Sampaloc
 Tree planting with Kids and youth in the watershed
 Clean up the shore line of Lake Sampaloc
 Fish cages and natural landscape at Lake Sampaloc

2 February 2014

The Seven Crater Lakes of San Pablo City, including Lake Sampaloc, are nominated as "Threatened Lake of the Year 2014".

Further information ...


Project measures Lake Sampaloc

The Friends of the Seven Lakes Foundation (FSLF) is a non-profit foundation in the Philippines that is run by partly voluntary staff members. The NGO was founded in the year 2000. FSLF''s vision is the management of the natural lake environment. FSLF is an environmentalist advocacy group promoting conservation, protection and rehabilitation of the seven lakes of San Pablo City. It also coordinates and supports initiatives for the sustainable management of the seven lakes and educates communities around the lakes on ecologically sustainable practices.


A key focus on the activities was the work with kids and juveniles. Therefore, many actions like collecting waste along the lake’s shore or planting indigenous trees in the town''s surrounding area. In eco-camps participants learn the most important details about the surrounding nature and in particular about the ecosystem of the lakes. It is important for the FSLF that the next generation is sensitized for the environment of urban areas.


The FLSF also takes part in the regionally planned master plan for tourism.



Partner Organisations Lake Sampaloc



Friends of the Seven Lakes Foundation

Bobby Azores (Chairman)

Farmers Building

Malvar cor Lopez Jaena Streets

San Pablo City 4000 Laguna, Philippines 



 Friends of the Seven Lakes Foundation (FSLF)