City, water district appeal for understanding over water shortage

MAASIN. Maasin City Mayor Nacional Mercado, Vice Mayor Maloney Samaco and City Council members meet with the board of Maasin Water District-Prime Water company to find solution to the water shortage in the city last July 29, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Maasin City LGU)

OFFICIALS of the Maasin City Government and Maasin Water District (MWD)-Prime Water have asked for the public's "cooperation and understanding," as they have been addressing the water shortage for nearly two weeks now.

The incident started on July 19 when a busted pump, owned by Villar-led Prime Water company, cut the water supply in some areas in the city, prompting Maasin Mayor Nacional Mercado to order the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to supply the water needs of the affected residents.

In his earlier communication with Prime Water's Engr. Cris Abundo, Mercado said the water interruption was due to a fault in the 25 hp pump in Barangay Maria Clara, Maasin.

Mercado said the private water company was able to install a 10 hp pump as temporary replacement.

"However, due to high demand of water on weekends, supply could not reach some areas especially the far and elevated ones. Nevertheless, repairs are currently underway and all efforts are currently employed to restore the water supply at the soonest time," Mercado said in his July 20 statement.

He said he is expecting that water supply will be back to normal on July 21, adding that a 30 hp pump from Cebu will arrive and will be installed immediately to fix the problem.

On July 22, however, the 30 hp pump broke down due to incompatibility as the pump did not fit properly in the well.

The following day, the pump was replaced back with the 10 hp while waiting for the 25 hp motor from Bacolod City.

The 10 hp pump was replaced with the 20 hp on July 24.

Despite the repair, both the officials admitted that "some may still experience low pressure and water interruption especially at the farthest and highest areas," adding the "demand is still high in the lower areas and pressure is still building up in the distribution lines."

"As soon as the demand normalizes, the pressure is expected to return to normal," the City Government said in its July 29 statement.

MWD-Prime Water planned on drilling a new well as its long-term plan of action in order to meet the water demands in the city, it added.

"This, however, will take time but they will be doing their best to hasten the work," the statement added.

"Nevertheless, despite all pumps working normally, this incessant depletion of our water supply is brought by climate change. That is why, we, MWD-Prime Water and the local government unit (LGU), are urging the public to continuously observe basic water saving tips to help in conserving water, we also encourage every resident to always store water for their own consumption. Report to us any detected leaks or illegal connections," it said.

The Prime Water began its joint venture with local water utility MWD through a memorandum of agreement between the two parties, serving over 6,000 water concessionaires.

The takeover reportedly started in July 2018.

However, a Contract Monitoring Unit is in-charge if the company follows the implementation on time, as what is indicated in the contract.

As this developed, concerned residents trooped to social media to air their complaints over the takeover and the new management of the city's water service. (SunStar Philippines)


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