Over 3,000 households in the cities of Cebu and Talisay experienced water service interruptions over the weekend due to the scheduled power outages and emergency outages brought about by the heavy rains.
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Water supply loss caused by…water
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - September 4, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Believe it or not, some parts of Cebu experienced no water recently because of too much water.

Over 3,000 households in the cities of Cebu and Talisay experienced water service interruptions over the weekend due to the scheduled power outages and emergency outages brought about by the heavy rains.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Cebu Water District’s (MCWD) said 15 wells --seven in Talamban, four in Jaclupan, Talisay City and four in central Cebu City-- were not operating for several hours due to the Visayan Electric Company’s power interruptions.

The 15 wells have a combined yield of 3,000 cubic meters per day.

MCWD said that their 120 wells in Metro Cebu rely on electricity.

“While MCWD has generators that can be used to power these pumps during outages, the water district still needs to use VECO’s lines to distribute the power to its wells which are in different locations,” the statement read.

MCWD General Manager Jose Eugenio Singson Jr. said that they already talked to VECO to allow the water district to use its power lines but these works involved the same power lines and will put their linemen in danger of electrocution with their proposed scheme.

MCWD and VECO earlier reached an agreement to isolate, as much as possible, the water district’s wells during scheduled power outages to avoid water service interruptions.

However, there are also emergency power outages brought about by heavy rains when power facilities are shut down or automatically turned off to prevent any damage as part of their safety features.

These sudden power supply interruptions result in the immediate stoppage of the operation of MCWD wells that do not have any standby generator sets and consumers in the areas affected will immediately lose their water supply.

The water supply usually normalizes minutes or hours after the power supply resumes, depending on the consumer’s distance from the water source, elevation, or the water demand in the area at specific times of the day.

Last Sunday, MCWD’s Jaclupan wells resumed operations at past 5 p.m. while its Talamban wells started operating again at midnight.

The supply interruptions affected some areas already experiencing fewer service hours after the water district reported a production deficit of 13,000 cubic meters per day starting in August.

The water production drop was due to the shutdown of a well of MCWD’s private supplier in Consolacion town due to saltwater intrusion. The two other wells have been decreasing in yield due to the lowering of groundwater levels.

MCWD already identified saltwater intrusion, overextraction, and nitrate contamination as the threats to Metro Cebu’s groundwater sources. — BRP (FREEMAN)

WATER SUPPLY
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