MWSS probes Maynilad for water supply cuts
The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) is investigating Maynilad Water Services Inc. for possible contract violations due to the continuing water service interruptions in its concession area.
If Maynilad is determined to have fallen short of its obligations, the regulatory office of the MWSS said in a statement that it would impose the appropriate penalties.
Maynilad customers in the cities of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Pasay, Bacoor, Imus, and Cavite, as well as in the municipalities of Noveleta and Rosario, which are covered by Maynilad’s Putatan Water Treatment Plant’s (PWTP) supply zone, have been experiencing water service interruptions since December 2021.
According to MWSS-RO, considering the corrective measures and long-term solutions being taken at the PWTP since the second quarter of last year, customers should be enjoying uninterrupted supply of potable water at a minimum pressure of 7 pounds per square inch. But this has not been the case.
Maynilad, majority-owned and managed by Maynilad Water Holdings Company Inc.—a joint venture between Metro Pacific Investments Corp.and DMCI Holdings Inc., had announced water interruptions from Dec. 6 to Dec. 22, 2021, and from Dec. 27 to Jan. 15. Then on Jan. 21, it said the water interruptions would last until Feb. 15, thus triggering the probe.
The MWSS-RO has directed Maynilad to explain the reasons behind the inconvenience it has been causing its customers and why the interruptions will be extended.
It also directed Maynilad to do the following: implement mitigating measures to alleviate the impact of the interruptions; use all accessible online and offline communication channels to effectively inform and update customers on the list of affected areas, schedules and other pertinent details before the implementation of the water interruptions; ensure strict adherence to its announced interruption schedules; and immediately address inquiries or concerns regarding the water interruptions.
Maynilad, for its part, said that the interruptions had been unavoidable because of the algal growth that blocked water intake lines and increased sediment in its treatment plants due to the northeast monsoon.
“Our water production from Laguna Lake has been affected by the northeast monsoon that has been pushing unusual amounts of sediment toward our Putatan treatment plants,” Maynilad said in a statement, “The resulting turbid water needs more processing before being released to our customers. Also, increased nutrients in the lake have been promoting the growth of algae that block the intake structure of our treatment facilities.”
It added that it has been supplementing the supply of potable water through mobile water tankers and stationary water tanks in several areas.
Maynilad is one of the two concessionaires tapped by the government to operate the water utilities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
It manages and operates the water and waste-water services in the cities of Manila (except San Andres), Pasay, Parañaque, Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Valenzuela, and parts of Makati and Quezon City, including the municipalities of Navotas and Malabon. INQ
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