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Maynilad announces longer daily water interruptions starting next week

Maynilad Water Services Inc. customers will experience longer daily service interruptions starting next week, as its cross-portal arrangement with Manila Water Company Inc. will no longer be extended.

The decline in the water elevation at the La Mesa Dam has forced east zone concessionaire Manila Water Company Inc. to gradually suspend the supply sharing, according to Maynilad's emailed statement. 

“This development will mean less supply for Maynilad to distribute, resulting in longer daily service interruption schedules starting April 1,” it said Wednesday.

The cross-portal arrangement was undertaken as less water has been reaching the Novaliches Portal in Quezon City

Maynilad has already been implementing water service interruptions in its service area, in a bid to prepare for the looming effects of the El Niño phenomenon or below-normal rainfall expected in June.

Maynilad said it met with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), which will request the National Water Resources Board (MWRB) to increase allocation of 52 cubic meters per second (CMS) from April to May.

A higher raw water allocation is expected to provide Manila Water more comfortability to sustain the cross-portal sharing agreement, and increase the water volume supplied to Maynilad’s treatment plants.

“Maynilad is facilitating its supply augmentation measures to help mitigate the supply shortage,” it said.

“This includes the sustained reduction of non-revenue water, which involves the repair of pipe leaks and replacement of old pipes to recover more supply,” it added.

The concessionaire last month said it discovered a major pipe leak coming from the lower end of a blow-off assembly connected to a 2,200-millimeter diameter steel pipe on its primary line in Makati, causing up to 57 hours of water service interruptions.

Moving forward, Maynilad said it is undertaking leak repair activities at the conveyance system to stop the losses in its aqueducts and improve raw water flow to the Novaliches Portal.

Maynilad in February said it targets to provide uninterrupted water services with normal water pressure to 88% of its customers by the end of 2023 and to all its customers by 2027.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) last year approved the rate hike request of Maynilad, which sought a P3.29 per cubic meter water rate adjustment starting this January.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO), however, slapped Maynilad with a P27.477-million penalty, which will be refunded to customers in southern Luzon where interruptions were recorded in December 2022 and this January.

Maynilad has since said that it already agreed with the MWSS-RO on the rebate, and maintenance activities are ongoing to address the water service issues.

Prior to this, the MWSS last September slapped Maynilad with a P9.264-million fine for “unusual and prolonged” service interruptions experienced by customers from May to July 2022.

The MWSS also penalized Maynilad in February 2022 for unusual and prolonged service interruptions within the Putatan Water Treatment Plant supply zone, equivalent to a rebate of P323 in the April bill.

Maynilad currently serves customers in the west zone, which covers the cities of Caloocan, Las Piñas, Makati, Malabon, Manila, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Parañaque, Pasay, Quezon, Valenzuela. It also services certain areas in Cavite such as the cities of Bacoor, Cavite, and Imus; and the towns of Kawit, Noveleta, and Rosario. —VAL, GMA Integrated News