MWSS welcomes Senate probe on MM drainage, sewage systems

MANILA The Metro Manila Water Works and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Wednesday welcomed the Senate's move to conduct an inquiry on the state of wastewater treatment in Metro Manila.

In a message sent to the Philippine News Agency (PNA), MWSS Administrator Rey V. Velasco reaffirmed the agency's commitment to carry out its mandate and responsibilities as stipulated in Republic Act No. 9275, or the Philippine Clean Water Act, following the filing of Senate Resolution 747 by Senate committee on environment and natural resources chairperson, Senator Cynthia A. Villar, to conduct an inquiry on the state of wastewater treatment in Metro Manila.

Velasco assured that MWSS is continuously working with our concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad to find ways to speed up the establishment of additional sewerage treatment plants in Metro Manila.

He conferred with Manila Water President Ferdinand de la Cruz, Maynilad President Ramoncito Fernandez, and MWSS ranking official Patrick Ty regarding the matter.

Velasco likewise welcomed the proposed Senate inquiry to enlighten the public and put to rest allegations that there is failure of implementation and enforcement of laws with respect to the provision of adequate sanitation, drainage and sewer facilities in Metro Manila."

The MWSS' mandate to assist in the establishment, operation and maintenance of waterworks and sewerage systems within its jurisdiction is further reinforced by the Philippine Clean Water Act that requires the agency to connect the existing sewage line found in all subdivisions, condominiums, commercial centers, hotels, sports and recreational facilities, hospitals, market places, public buildings, industrial complex and other similar establishments, including households, to available sewerage system.

While Metro Manila and nearby provinces are covered by concession agreements between MWSS and the two concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad, they are not yet 100 percent covered by wastewater treatment plants.

However, both are committed to achieve full coverage within the duration of their respective concession agreements, Velasco said, adding that the actual coverage at present is 22 percent.

MWSS recently unveiled a wastewater management facility of Maynilad in Pasay City that can process up to 46.6 million liters of wastewater per day.

With this new facility, Metro Manila now has 58 wastewater treatment facilities.

Velasco said that Maynilad, which covers Metro Manila's West Zone, maintains and operates 17 sewage treatment plants (STPs), two combined sewage and septage treatment plants and one septage treatment plant that process wastewater and sludge collected from customers.

Nineteen of its STPs in Muntinlupa, Caloocan, Manila and Quezon City earned for the company ISO certifications in quality, environment, and safety and health management.

Maynilad strives to keep improving processes for enhanced reliability and efficiency of our wastewater services, said Maynilad President and CEO Fernandez.

Attaining these ISO certifications affirms that we are on the right track in our bid to operate world-class wastewater facilities, Velasco added.

For Manila Water, its water sewerage service includes the operation and maintenance of networks of sewer pipelines that collect and convey sewage to sewage treatment plants.

Its sanitation service likewise involves the operation and maintenance of vacuum trucks that clean or de-sludge household septic tanks, and septage treatment plants that receive and treat the hauled septage before disposing of the treated byproducts (treated wastewater and bio-solids) through environment-safe means.

For Manila Water's concession area that is not connected to a sewerage system, wastewater is disposed into septic tanks.

Because septic tanks provide only primary treatment, they eventually leak out pollution into the groundwater or into municipal drainage systems, eventually finding its way into the rivers. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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