Red alert still up over La Mesa DamBy Riza T. Olchondra
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Authorities maintained a red alert status at La Mesa Dam in Quezon City even though the water level eased at the facility.
Citing reports received by Manila Water Co. as of 8 p.m., Jeric Sevilla, the corporate communications chief of Manila Water, said the water level at La Mesa Dam was steady at 79.79 meters.
Manila Water keeps a close watch on the Angat-Ipo-La Mesa Dam water system.
For the alert level to be downgraded to yellow, the water level should be below 79.60 m, Sevilla said in a text message.
La Mesa is a spill dam akin to a giant infinity pool. The spilling level, or the level at which water starts to overflow down the sides of the dam, is 80.15 m.
Excess water flows into Tullahan River, which traverses the northern part of Quezon City, including the Fairview area, as well as the cities of Malabon, Valenzuela and Caloocan. The river drains into Manila Bay.
From midnight to around 8 a.m. Tuesday, the water level at La Mesa Dam eased by 4 centimeters to 79.73 m, Sevilla said. He added there was a big chance the level would fall below 79.60 on Wednesday if it did not rain.
La Mesa Dam was also placed on red alert on Monday.
At Angat Dam, it increased by 1 cm to 189.19 m, and at Ipo Dam, it dropped by 11 cm to 100.31 m, he said. Both dams are in Bulacan province.
On Monday, water was released at Ipo Dam from 6 a.m. to noon in anticipation of continuous rains, Sevilla said. One gate was opened by 30 cm, releasing water at 47 cubic meters per second.
Angat and Ipo were both below spilling levels on Monday and Tuesday. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the water level at Angat was at 189.17 m and at Ipo, 99.81 m.
The Angat-Ipo-La Mesa Dam Raw Water System supplies most of Metro Manila’s water needs. Water is treated at Manila Water’s Balara plant and at Maynilad Water Services’ La Mesa plant.
Originally posted: 10:57 am | Tuesday, June 19th, 2012