AFTER months of working on a treatment facility to cover the water supply shortage, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) successfully operated again a well in Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City. The well, which is one of MCWD’s eight wells that were shut down the past few years due to nitrate contamination, is now able to supply to over 200 households per day.
“We hope this will provide longer service hours to our consumers in Guadalupe who have been inconvenienced by very short supply hours for years,” said MCWD Acting General Manager Stephen Yee.
“We will work on more wells as part of our short-term solutions to the supply scarcity,” he added.
This is the second well that MCWD has revived through its successful Denitrification Program, a process of removing nitrate from contaminated water through Ion Exchange Resins. It started in 2018 and the first well where the water was treated was able to produce over 1,000 cubic meters (cu. m.) per day.
Nitrate contamination is caused by agricultural fertilizers and substandard septic tanks that overflow into water sources. This is the reason MCWD has strengthened its Septage Management Program, which includes the mandatory desludging of septic tanks, proper collection, treatment and disposal of septic tank waste.
Nitrate contamination, together with overextraction and saltwater intrusion, contributed to the depletion and shutdown of a number of sources in MCWD’s service area and caused the supply to go down.
The water demand in Metro Cebu is estimated at 500,000 cu. m. per day, which has surpassed the water produced by MCWD at 238,000 cu. m. per day.
Factors like population growth, economic and business opportunities and in-migration contributed to this fast increase in the water demand over the years.
Starting August this year, MCWD lost over 20,000 cu. m. per day due to various problems encountered by its private water suppliers and the effects of the dry spell.
MCWD is scheduled to drill 30 wells in a few months as part of its short-term solutions to the supply shortage. It will also treat the water in the affected wells to add more to the daily supply. (PR)