TUBA, Benguet -- The Baguio Water District continues its campaign against illegal connections.

The Non-Revenue Water Management of BWD on June 5 plugged 4 illegal connections tapped on the electric-generated transmission line of Stage 1 dam 3 in Tip-top Saddle, Pula in Tuba, Benguet.

NRWM Design Supervisor Jeden Ganipis told media the tapped water is usually used for farming, household and even for business noting tapped water is now being sold.

"Imbis na isusupply natin sa bona fide concessionaires, napupunta sa illegal connections," he lamented.

He explained these illegal connections resulted in the longer filling time of the reservoir in KM8, 60 to 65 hours. This, in turn, has resulted in the once to twice a week distribution of water to affected consumers.

But with continuous pluggings of illegal connections, the pumping of water to the reservoir now takes 22 to 28 hours. However, Ganipis said the average target filling time is only 21 hours.

On the other hand, he clarified the BWD may only distribute water every other day since they still have to treat the water with alum for at least 24 hours to make residue subside making it potable for consumers.

The KM.8 reservoir is the water supplier of Marcos Highway, Green Valley, Crystal Cave, Bakakeng, Legarda, QM, Upper Rock Quarry, Santo Rosario, Balacbac, Kitma, Phil-am and portions of Tuba.

It was earlier observed water from Stage 1 Dam 3 was turbid because of the erosion, bulldozing and tree cutting in the massive land development in Mt. Kabuyao.

Ganipis admitted the BWD suffers a significant system loss highlighting the P5,000 per hour power cost on the pumping of water to the reservoir multiplied by the number of hours added to the normal filling time.

Some 15 illegal connections have yet to be obstructed in open areas.

These connections were discovered because of the hissing sound caused by the high water pressure passing the tappers and quellos. Residents using the illegal connection use an improvised tank where they store water.

Some illegal tappers in or leading to residential houses were also noted but are still not penetrated by the BWD. These include 4 in Garson, 1 near KM8 and 1 compound in Pula.

Ganipis shared they have already informed Tuba Mayor Florencio Bentrez through a letter about the illegal connections enumerating the houses they have to penetrate.

As of December 2013, the BWD has plugged 140 illegal connections and more than 40 this year.

The BWD strengthened their randomly scheduled saturation for further monitoring of illegal connections along the transmission line of Stage 1 Dam 3 in Tuba.

Myles Gerard de los Reyes, team leader of the saturation crew, said from the yearly saturation they had to make it once a week since November 2013 because of the increasing number of illegal connections.

He added there is now an urgency since three water sources in Amliang cannot be utilized.

No case has been filed against residents illegally tapping into these BWD resources.

A reward system has then been used to trace resident tappers, however, Ganipis ended residents preferred not claiming the reward for security reasons.