Water concessionaires fasttrack projects

    Improved service. Manila Water and Maynilad are spending billions for various projects, from repairing leaks to building treatment plants.
    Improved service. Manila Water and Maynilad are spending billions for various projects, from repairing leaks to building treatment plants.

    Metro Manila water concessionaires announced plans to fast track their respective projects to further improve services in their franchise areas.

    East zone concessionaire Manila Water Co. Inc. said it will spend P115 billion more to complete its sewerage program by 2037.

    “Since 1997 when we took over the East Zone, we have spent P38.5 billion on our wastewater programs from collections of only P36.9 billion. So, we have excess investments of P1.6 billion and we expect this trend to continue,” Abelardo Basilio, Manila Water chief operating officer, said in a statement.

    To push the program, Basilio said Manila Water will need to lay about 500 kilometers more of pipes in public and private roads to capture wastewater from households and establishments in the east zone to convey to sewage treatment plants (STP) and ensure that wastewater released to Manila Bay complies with pollution control standards.

    He said the projects will be implemented in two or three phases; seven are set to commence until 2022 translating to an investment of P38.4 billion, while the rest will begin construction from 2023 onwards.

    The STPs to be built for these system projects are designed to cumulatively collect and treat up to almost 950 million liters per day (MLD) of wastewater from a population of 7.5 million in the east zone by 2037.

    Among ongoing wastewater infrastructure projects nearing completion is the Ilugin STP which will serve as the sub-catchment area of north and south Pasig, covering communities in and around Pasig City by 2020.

    “For most cases, Manila Water also acquires the land where the STPs are put up. Among the Metro Manila governments, Marikina is way ahead with an 80 percent coverage all spent for by Manila Water and mayor Marcy Teodoro wants 100 percent sewerage in the next two years. We will do that and that will make Marikina our model,” Basilio said.

    He added that Pasig mayor Vico Sotto also wants to fast track the city’s sewerage projects.

    To date, Manila Water operates 38 STPs and 2 septage treatment plants with a total capacity of 310 MLD.

    Manila Water serves customers in Makati, Pasig, Pateros, Marikina, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Taguig, some parts of Quezon City and Manila; and several towns in Rizal province including Taytay, Teresa, Angono, Antipolo, Baras, Binangonan, Cainta, San Mateo and Rodriguez.

    On the other hand, west zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services Inc. is building a new pumping station and reservoir in Valenzuela City which will boost water pressure for over 50,000 customers.

    The new facility, to be constructed early next year and targeted for completion by 2021, will be equipped with high-efficiency pumps that can increase water pressure from the current 7 pounds per square inch (psi) to 16 psi in portions of Valenzuela and Quezon City.

    At 16 psi, water can reach the third floor of a house or establishment.

    The new reservoir will also have a storage capacity of 40 million liters, which can serve as additional reserve water for the area in case of supply shortfall or an increase in demand.

    “This project, along with our pipe replacement and rehabilitation initiatives to reduce water losses, is a critical component of our long-term plan to provide reliable services. It will help us to sustain service levels in the north, given increasing demand for water supply,” Ramoncito Fernandez, Maynilad president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

    Maynilad is the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base, serving the cities of Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasay, Parañaque, Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Navotas and Malabon; the cities of Cavite, Bacoor and Imus and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta and Rosario that are all in Cavite.