THOUSANDS of residents in Cebu City’s seven mountain barangays now have access to potable water after the Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD) deployed its truck-mounted Mobile Siphon Tank (MST) in Barangay Cambinocot’s main river.

This was in response to Mayor Edgardo Labella’s request for MCWD to deploy the MST again as it did during the El Niño phenomenon in 2015.

The mayor said the water is needed by residents in the villages of Cambinocot, Lusaran, Paril, Mabini, Agsungot and Guba. They are suffering from water shortage.

The said barangays are not part of the areas currently being served by MCWD. But since it received the MSTs from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, as a local water district that is serving largest urban area in the country, it has deployed the equipment in areas badly hit by the dry spell or by disasters.

Apart from the MSTs, MCWD has been deploying its water trucks to its brother water districts that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda, earthquakes and the series of droughts since 2014.

After receiving Labella’s letter-request on Oct. 11, 2019, MCWD sent a team to survey the river in Cambinocot, coordinate with barangay officials, set up the equipment and conduct a water quality test to ensure its potability.

In his reply to Labella, then MCWD general manager Jose Eugenio Singson Jr. informed the mayor that MCWD will deploy a security guard and will shoulder the cost of the treatment and fuel for the generator sets.

Ramonito Seno, a resident of Cambinocot, was thankful to MCWD for the free potable water.

Seno, a farmer, said his family used to rely on a private water provider’s water system but it recently broke down, making it very hard for them to fetch water from a source with very poor access.

Cambinocot Barangay Captain Reynald Lauron also thanked MCWD for the immediate response to his request. He said the neighboring barangays are surely equally grateful for the free water supply.

An MST is a state-of-the-art equipment that takes water from rivers, lakes, ponds and other surface water sources, converting these into a clean and potable water onsite.

There are three water containers in an MST. The first one contains the water collected from the river, which is then sent to the processors mounted on the truck.

The river water is suctioned and added with poly aluminum chloride in order for the silt, dirt and other inherent substances to coagulate, and is then filtered and added with chlorine for disinfection.

The second container contains the clean water used for backwashing, which is the process of cleaning the processors, getting rid of the silt, dirt and rocks filtered and disposing of the same.

The third container houses the clean water. It has two faucets from which the residents can collect the potable water.