MWSS, DENR join forces to address wastewater woes
Two government agencies are joining forces with water companies in a determined effort to resolve issues involving Metro Manila’s wastewater management.
In a recent executive conference, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Administrator Rey Velasco agreed on a holistic and pragmatic approach on wastewater and sewerage management without unduly sacrificing the public interest.
The MWSS has the mandate under the concession agreement to supply and distribute potable water in Metro Manila and provide for sewerage and sanitation facilities for efficient and safe collection and disposal of sewage.
The MWSS is also tasked to “clean up, rehabilitate and preserve Manila Bay and restore and maintain its water to SB level (Class B sea waters) to make them fit for swimming, skin diving and other forms of contact recreation.
Prior to the MWSS privatization, less than eight percent had sewer coverage in the Greater Manila area. There was minimal septage treatment and no septage treatment plant.
Today, MWSS concessionaries Manila Water and Maynilad have water treatment programs that benefit their clientele.
Manila Water’s sewerage service includes the operation and maintenance of networks of sewer pipelines that collect and convey sewage to sewage treatment plants (STP) which then treat wastewater before returning it to water bodies.
Manila Water operates a fleet of 78 vacuum trucks and performs regular, scheduled septic tank cleaning services (desludging) for communities free of charge.
On the other hand, Maynilad maintains and operates 20 wastewater treatment plants that process wastewater and sludge collected from customers to prevent the pollution of waterways and bodies of water. It likewise maintains and operates 19 pump stations, 12 lift stations, and over 500 kilometers of sewer lines to enable the efficient collection and conveyance of wastewater from the customers to the treatment facilities.
Maynilad plans to build four new STPs in the next five years to serve 2.1 million people. When completed, the new facilities will have a combined treatment capacity of about 120 million cubic meters per year.
These projects are part of Maynilad’s P30.6-billion wastewater management program for years 2018 to 2022.