LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- In a bid to put into place water system in this highland town, Bontoc Mayor Franklin Odsey will start fixing defective pipes.

The water shortage affecting Poblacion, Caluttit, Bontoc Ili, and Samoki is caused by a series of bursting of plastic water pipes in different areas from the source in Barangay Talubin to the distribution tank in Barangay Poblacion.

Laid out in 1992, the durability of the plastic pipes is already compromised, causing the pipes to easily get damaged.

Bontoc information officer Desiree Sokoken said that based on records of the Municipal Waterworks Office, there are 1,180 users, all of which have no water meters.

The 1,180 cover households, eateries, offices, and boarding houses, which pay water dues but have no meters in their homes and establishments.

According to the Bontoc Waterworks Unit, the water shortage, which lasted for over two weeks, were caused by leaks in plastic pipes buried underground. The team had to dig first to identify the source of the leakage and then drain the water from the pipes before replacing them.

Once the plastic pipes were replaced and reconnected to the source, the remaining pipes were unable to withstand the force of the water, resulting to damage and another repair.

Sokoken said the piping system of the capital town must be set into place first before metering system could take effect.

Earlier, four central barangays were placed under a state of calamity enabling the municipality to tap its calamity fund to fast track the rehabilitation.

Odsey will utilize P800,000 to purchase of galvanized iron pipes to replace the existing plastic pipes.