MCWD to RITM: Run tests on wells

THE board of directors (BOD) of the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) has passed a resolution asking the Department of Health’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to test the water of its Bulk Supply Injection Point located in Casuntingan, Mandaue City and three production wells near Butuanon River.

The resolution was passed on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.

According to Helen Aragones, head of MCWD’s Water Quality Control Division, the resolution called on RITM to conduct a poliovirus sampling and analysis of the water in the four facilities even though MCWD already had a bacteriological analysis done on its three wells located within a 500 meter radius from Butuanon River.

She said they were able to get water samples from their three production wells located in Talamban, Cebu City and Cabancalan, Mandaue City along with water samples from its Bulk Supply Injection Point on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

The results of the bacteriological analysis will be available today, Friday, Feb. 20, at the earliest after the samples were subjected to an 18-hour analysis.

“MCWD does not have any laboratory for poliovirus here in Cebu. We could only test for coliform or E.coli. But then poliovirus has an E.coli attachment so that will be our best gauge, if the water tests positive for E.coli,” Aragones explained in Cebuano.

“If ever the samples are negative for E.coli, there is no possibility that it will be positive for the poliovirus,” she added.

But whether the results would be positive or negative for E.coli, Aragones said MCWD still wants a third party, such as the RITM, to determine if the MCWD wells were poliovirus free or not.

The MCWD production wells are subjected to regular bacteriological analysis, monthly, while its injection point is subjected to daily monitoring.

“Last month, January, the three wells were negative for E.coli and the injection point, negative as of Feb. 15,” Aragones said.

Earlier, samples collected by RITM from Butuanon River, a 10-kilometer waterway in Metro Cebu traversing several barangays in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue, tested positive for the poliovirus.

The river has been declared off-limits to the public following the findings.

Meanwhile, an anti-polio vaccination drive will be conducted in Barangay Pajo, Lapu-Lapu City on Saturday, Feb. 22 in coordination with All Terrain Medical Relief Organization.

Pajo, along with barangays Buaya, Pusok, Ibo and Mactan, has been the subject of a house-to-house campaign by health officials to inform residents about the dangers of the poliovirus. All five are coastal barangays. ( WBS, GCM )