Deep wells eyed to augment water supply in Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo
 Filipinos with no water supply in their districts collect water from an overhead pipe at a refilling area in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines, 20 July 2010.  EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA

MANILA, Philippines – The National Water Resources Board (NWRB) has allowed the operation of deep wells while water level in Angat Dam remains below normal.

NWRB Executive Director Sevillo David said around 40 of all 180 deep wells are functioning across Metro Manila.

These units can add up to 150 million liters to the metropolis’ required daily water requirement.

“Sa ngayon, dahil sa may kakulangang nararansan, ito ay sinusubukang i-activate at i-energize (Because of shortage in supply, we are trying to activate [the deep wells] and re-energize them),” David said.

One deep well, located in Quezon City and supervised by Manila Water, is measured 100 meters deep.

It can fill an entire Olympic size swimming pool in one day.

“Ang tubig po nito galing sa ilalim ng lupa na tinatawag po nating aquifer or ground water (na) nag nagmumula din sa mga katabing ilog or mga lake at galing din po sa pag-ulan natin (The water here comes from below the ground which is called an aquifer or ground water that comes from nearby rivers or lakes and also from collected rainwater),” explained Manila Water Plant Manager Ken Icaro.

Icaro added that the water generated by the deep well is treated through certain equipment to minimize the concentration of minerals such as iron and manganese to a certain point that is acceptable to the Philippine national standards for drinking water.

After treatment, Icaro said, water goes straight to the consumers.

State weather agency PAGASA has already announced that Angat Dam is less likely to refill to normal level by the end of this year.

But the NWRB assured that allocation in Metro Manila will remain at 40 cubic meters per second until next month.

Nevertheless, the agency called on the public to observe proper use of water and as much as possible, recycle, in order to help maintain Angat’s water reserve until the next rainy season. — MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

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