Maynilad to build more water treatment facilities amid backlash over interruptions

January 5, 2023 - 7:38 AM
File image of the La Mesa Water Treatment Plant. HANDOUT PHOTO FROM MAYNILAD

A water utility company announced plans to build new water treatment facilities following the widespread criticisms it received from consumers.

Residents in some areas covered by the Maynilad Water Services Incorporated or Maynilad complained about receiving limited to no water supply since the holidays.

In response, the concessionaire announced on January 3 that it planned to build more small-scale water treatment facilities to better serve its consumers.

“To produce additional supply and reduce service interruptions, we are building several new water treatment plants, including small-scale facilities that will get raw water from various sources,” Maynilad said.

It also uploaded a graphic that listed the places where these facilities will be built, as follows:

  • Pasay City
  • Valenzuela City
  • Cupang in Muntinlupa City
  • Ligas in Cavite
  • Molino in Cavite

Based on its website, Maynilad currently has four large water treatment plants. They produce water that meets the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water (PNSDW) of the Department of Health (DOH).

These are the following:

  • La Mesa Treatment Plant 1
  • La Mesa Treatment Plant 2
  • Putatan Water Treatment Plant 1
  • Putatan Water Treatment Plant 2

Both La Mesa treatment plants are certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

These systems help produce water for 17 cities and municipalities of the West Zone of the Greater Metro Manila area.

Recurring water interruptions

Many customers took to social media to raise their concerns to Maynilad about the recurring and extended water interruptions last December.

They further slammed the company for the timing of cutting off or limiting their water supply.

“New year’s eve, where potential accidents can happen due to fireworks, tapos mawawalan ng tubig kasagsagan ng putukan? You guys are simply outrageously impossible,” one user said.

“Almost four days of no water in our area, especially during this holiday season,” another user said.

Some Filipinos even posted photos of their dirty dishes from their Christmas and New Year dinners to make emphasis their dire situation.

Others, meanwhile, criticized the company for not following its own water supply schedules.

“At the very least sumunod kayo sa sarili niyong SCHEDULE ng water interruption! ‘Yun man lang magkatotoo para ‘di umaasa at nag hihintay mga tao!” one user said.

‘Emergency repair’

Based on its Facebook page, portions of Parañaque City, Las Piñas City, and the cities of Bacoor and Imus in Cavite have been experiencing water service interruptions since December 23 due to an “emergency facility repair activity” at its Putatan Water Treatment plant.

Maynilad, however, did not specify the supposed damage that caused the water shortage.

It was only on December 29 that the water supplier explained the extent of the problem at the plant via Facebook.

“Kasalukuyang mas mababa sa normal ang napo-produce na tubig ng aming treatment plant sa Putatan, Muntinlupa dahil sa nasirang sludge removal equipment (pang-tanggal ng putik) ng nasabing pasilidad,” Maynilad said.

The estimated date of the completion of the repairs is on January 16.

“Matapos ang mga aktibidad na ito, kailangan din i-stabilize ang kabuuang system sa planta na naapektuhan ng depektibong equipment bago tuluyang maibalik sa normal ang production nitong January 16, 2023,” Maynilad said. 

This growing debacle also prompted the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Regulatory Office to order Maynilad to explain its water distribution issues.

“The NTE is about the lack of necessary public advisories and notices regarding water service interruption (WSI) schedules, the continuous extension of WSI schedules, and the surge in customer complaints received and monitored by the Office,” the MWSS said.  

The office further stated: “If the situation persists, the MWSS RO will not hesitate to impose another sanction on Maynilad, similar to the financial penalty implemented by the Office last October 2022.”