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MWSS to Maynilad: Fix water supply, turbidity woes

THE REGULATORY office of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) ordered west zone water concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. to explain and fix the service interruptions and turbidity issues in its water supply after the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.

In a statement on Monday, MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Lester N. Ty said Maynilad is expected to send an official explanation within the week about the rotational water service interruptions and the sudden jump in complaints concerning the poor water quality coming out of customers’ faucets.

“The concessionaire is also expected to propose solutions that should prevent the recurrence of these issues with future typhoons,” Mr. Ty said.

MWSS said that on Nov. 12, Maynilad issued advisories regarding rotational water service interruptions that were caused by the lower water output in the provider’s treatment plants in La Mesa resulting from the inflow of turbid water from Ipo Dam.

Mr. Ty said MWSS issued two “notices to explain” to Maynilad on Nov. 16 and Nov. 20 for the concessionaire’s failure to advise the customers to store water and brace for possible service interruptions prior to the typhoon; the increase in complaints on the “poor aesthetic quality” of water; and the water provider’s failure to comply with the schedule on announced water service interruptions.

According to MWSS, the notice given on Nov. 16 also directed Maynilad to ensure that affected customers will not experience low or no water pressure for more than one day.

“The MWSS regulatory office assures affected customers that their interest is prioritized as the agency investigates the matter. The agency will protect, first and foremost, the welfare of the public in light of these issues,” Mr. Ty said.

Jennifer C. Rufo, Maynilad head of corporate communications, said in a mobile phone message that the company would cooperate with the directive of the MWSS.

“We will respond to our regulators, and we will cooperate,” Ms. Rufo said.

In a recent service update, Maynilad has assured its customers that clearing operations in its facilities continues and sludge from all of its basins will be removed by Nov. 24.

“We apologize to our affected customers for the inconvenience this has caused. Know that we are working non-stop to restore our operations affected by Typhoon Ulysses,” the water provider said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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