By: Lilybeth Ison
MANILA — Manila Water announced that it is investing more than PHP115 billion for its Used (Waste) Water Master Plan to be implemented until 2037, as part of its contribution to rehabilitate Manila Bay.
Arnold A. Mortera, head of Manila Water Used Water Operations, said in a media roundtable discussion on Friday that this is to ensure full sewerage service coverage of the East Zone areas and that whatever water will come out of the river after treatment will be of Class “C” Effluent, meaning that it is suited for agricultural uses.
Part of the expenditure will fund the construction of system projects covering 11 sub-catchment areas in the East Zone.
Donna C. Perez, Manila Water Used Water Planning Department Head, in her presentation, said these projects will be implemented in two or three phases. Seven projects are set to commence until 2022 translating to an investment of PHP38.4 billion, while the rest will begin construction from 2023 onwards.
She said the sewage treatment plants (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 7.5 million population in the East Zone by 2037.
The capital expenditure (CAPEX) target also covers the rehabilitation of existing sewer lines and the upgrade of currently operating STPs to comply with the recently released DAO 2016-8 standards by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for biological nutrient removal in the wastewater treatment process.
Manila Water currently operates 38 STPs and two septage treatment plants with a total capacity of 310 MLD, designed to serve 22 percent of total water service connections.
Perez said when Manila Water took over the East Zone concession area, only 3 percent of the population was connected to the sewerage system and that 85 percent of the households were using septic tanks. There was then only one treatment plant in operation.
In 2018, the coverage, in terms of sewer connection, is at 15 percent, serving a population of more than 553,061 while desludging services covered a total of more than 1.3 million population from cleaning and emptying 112,836 septic tanks.
For ongoing wastewater infrastructure projects, Perez said, nearing its completion is the Ilugin Sewage Treatment Plant to serve the sub-catchment area of North and South Pasig, covering communities in and around Pasig City. The 100-MLD capacity STP and its sewerage system will serve up to 765,000 households once completed. The STP is expected to be operational by 2020.
The PHP33-billion Ilugan Sewage Treatment Plant is located in Barangay Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City. This would be the centerpiece of the North and South Pasig Sewerage System Project. The 100-MLD capacity STP and its sewer system will serve up to 765,000 households in and around Pasig City once it becomes operational by 2020.
For those who are not yet with the sewerage system, Manila Water said it will continue with its sanitation services, such as dislodging of wastes from septic tanks for free, as part of their compliance with the DENR administrative order. (PNA)