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(Metro News) ‘El Nino impact remains tolerable in Metro Manila’ — Maynilad chief

MANILA, Feb. 26 — Maynilad Water Services Inc. (MWSI) president Rogelio L. Singson said on Friday the impact of the El Niño phenomenon in Metro Manila remains "tolerable."

"We are reducing the impact by only decreasing water pressure during the evening," Singson said in a telephone interview with the Philippines News Agency (PNA) this afternoon.

He said the effect of El Nino is the reduction in the water allocation for domestic use from Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

Singson said the MWSI is preparing for a moderate El Niño which could affect about 500,000 people in the West Concession zone out of the 7.1 million people which the Lopez-family controlled firm currently serves.

“We are also ready for a severe El Niño which could affect as much as 1.5 million persons out of the 7.1 million with reduced service levels, shorter service hours and low water pressure,” Singson said.

To mitigate the impact of reduced water allocation, Singson said Maynilad is undertaking the following measures:

–Emergency repair of all leaks. Currently, MWSI is repairing about 100 leaks per day; bringing in a new leak detection equipment for main pipes to locate leaks on big pipes.

–Rushing up the completion of the first 50 million liters per day (mld) water treatment plant from the MWSI Putatan Treatment plant in Muntinlupa, along with the new MWSI Water Reservoir and Pumping station in Villamor Air Base in Pasay City.

–Closing illegal connections, especially under bridge crossings. <p<–Commissioning some of the deep wells to augment water supply.

–Ensuring availability of water trucks for use in areas severely affected by low water supply.

–Systematic managing of the water supply system so that any reduction in water supply and pressure is done during off-peak hours or at night.

–Continuous monitoring of the use of water allocation from Angat Dam which is under the control of the National Power Corporation (Napocor).

Singson said the water agency also continues to inform customers in affected communities about interruption schedules or supply situation.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) earlier said about one-fifth of Metro Manila and two adjacent provinces might experience a significant lack of water by midyear due to the El Niño phenomenon.

MWSS projections set a peak of 339,172 households — about 2.5 million individuals — in 687 barangays feeling the weather pattern’s impact on water supplies by June.

The figures comprise 20 percent of the total area served by East and West zone concessionaires Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. (PNA) scs/JCA

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