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Maynilad to start distributing ‘new water’ in July

MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. targets to distribute starting in July up to 10 million liters per day (MLD) of its “new water” or treated used water from households that passes through a rigorous purifying process to make it potable.

“We’re still doing some pipe-laying in Sucat, and we’re still waiting for our permit to operate from the Department of Health, but once we get it, maybe next month we can already distribute 10 MLD,” Maynilad Chief Operating Officer Randolph T. Estrellado said partly in Filipino during a virtual press briefing on Tuesday.

He said the company’s target eventually is to use all the wastewater in Metro Manila to be purified into new water. He said 80% of the water produced in its concession area comes back as wastewater.

The treated water will come from its modular treatment plants or ModTPs that will get raw water from the Parañaque Water Reclamation Facility.

The initial 10 MLD will be flowed into the distribution system for blending with the standard drinking water produced by Maynilad’s La Mesa treatment plants.

The blended supply will then be conveyed to barangays San Dionisio and San Isidro in Parañaque City, which are the areas nearest to the ModTP location. The two barangays will benefit from the additional supply, as it will improve water availability in the area.

Maynilad said it had been holding a series of social acceptability tests and public consultations with residential and commercial customers, local government units, and government agencies such as the DoH, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), and National Water Resources Board.

The consultations are meant to ensure that the new water will be acceptable to consumers.

Maynilad said that based on the results of its initial social acceptability test, its residential and commercial customers have expressed willingness to use new water after seeing it and understanding the process behind it.

“Mahaba ang pinagdaanan na journey ng Maynilad bago kami nakarating dito (Maynilad’s journey has been long before we got here),” Maynilad President and Chief Executive Officer Ramoncito S. Fernandez said.

“We will ensure that periodic tests will be done,” he added.

Maynilad said the new water will have no impact on customers’ water bill. The standard water tariff rates will apply whether raw water is sourced from Angat Dam, Laguna Lake, or treated used water.

The initiative is part of Maynilad’s move toward potable water reuse, which is aimed at boosting available supply in view of the growing demand for water. It is also in response to the strain on existing raw water sources due to the impact of climate change, the company said.

At present, used water from households is collected, cleaned in sewage treatment plants, and discharged into bodies of water. But with potable water reuse, treated used water goes through a second treatment plant for a more rigorous purification process. The new water output can be used for drinking, having passed the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water.

Maynilad officials said treated water reuse for drinking is already done in other countries.

Since 2019, Maynilad has been looking into potable water reuse when a water crisis hit Metro Manila, prompting the company to tap alternative sources, including Laguna Lake, apart from Angat Dam.

Maynilad is a private concessionaire of the MWSS. It is the water and wastewater services provider for the 17 cities and municipalities that comprise the west zone of the greater Metro Manila area.

Maynilad sources 91% of its supply from a single source — Angat Dam, which also supplies another water concessionaire, a hydroelectric plant, and the needs of farmers for irrigation.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp., which has a majority stake in Maynilad, is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being Philex Mining Corp. and PLDT, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Victor V. Saulon

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