Wednesday, May 16, 2018

PrimeWater cracks down on illegal connections

Staff reporter

Laoag City—"Drinking from the tap”, a phrase people have long been using as the norm in terms of the potability of service water. The status of service water, not being drinkable from the tap, which is similar in most cities and municipalities in the Philippines could possibly be due to several reasons, such as old pipe systems of houses and of the utilities, damaged pipes, and illegal connections, to name a few.

With sufficient capital and appropriate technical knowledge, water distribution utilities can replace old and damaged pipes, but illegal connections are of different matter; it becomes a social challenge.

In the case of illegal connections, it highlights the shared responsibility of taking care of the water network between the customer and the utility. It is because both parties feel the adverse effects of illegal connections are: the water utility is having an increased non-revenue water (NRW) level, while the consumers experience low water pressure to no water situations, dirty water, or worse, contaminated water.

Given the fact that illegal connections use pipes not based on standard materials and procedures, they will fail. Such breakdown may cause the clean water to leak out—due to high pressure in the pipe—hence, causing the low pressure to no water situations downstream of the pipe; or worse, dirty to contaminated water may seep in once the pipe pressure further reduces, given the pipes are under ground and for some areas within the canals and drainage systems.

According to the report of the Public Health Surveillance Division, Epidemiology Bureau, Department of Health, they recorded a lot of food and waterborne diseases from January 1 to June 3, 2017: 6,701 cases of acute bloody diarrhea with 36 deaths’ 28 cases of confirmed cholera; 804 cases of confirmed rotavirus; 196 cases of hepatitis A; and 7,795 cases of typhoid with 11 deaths.

In view of these numbers, PrimeWater Ilocos Norte has expressed alarm, and is urging everyone to do everything they can to mitigate this adversity.
The water utility also encourages everyone to be vigilant and report all unauthorized and suspicious activities done on any part of the water network and help protect the health of the community.
They said they are hopeful that with everyone’s cooperative efforts, both the utility and consumers “will be able to drink again from the tap”.
You may report these cases to PrimeWater Ilocos Norte through these numbers (077) 772-0985, 0917-8651430, 0999-9977656.

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