Manila Water breaks ground for its 42nd sewage treatment plant

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Present during the ceremony were (L-R) Megawide President and CEO Edgar Saavedra, Manila Water President and CEO Jose Rene Almendras, MWSS-CO Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Technology Ronald Abrigo, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita “Menchie” Abalos, Manila Bay Coordinating Office Deputy Executive Director Jacob Meimban, MWSS-RO Chief Regulator Atty. Patrick Ty, Brgy. Old Zaniga Chairman Alex Lacson, and Suez International Authorized Managing Officer Christian Javier.

Manila Water recently held a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the commencement of Mandaluyong West Sewerage System Project, held at the construction site of the Aglipay Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in Barangay Old Zaniga, Mandaluyong City.

The Aglipay STP is the 42nd sewage treatment facility of Manila Water in Metro Manila’s East Zone, and will have a treatment capacity of 60 million liter per day (MLD) of wastewater to be collected from 2,115 hectares of catchment area spanning across Mandaluyong, San Juan and Quezon Cities. The facility’s capacity is expandable up to 120 MLD after the complementing network of 53 kilometers of sewer lines is completed. The Mandaluyong West Sewerage System is designed to serve a population of up to 652,000.

“This project is a vital component of Manila Water’s wastewater masterplan which aims to provide 100% sewer and sanitation coverage to the entire East Zone by 2037,” shared Abelardo P. Basilio, Manila Water Operation’s Chief Operating Officer.

“This masterplan will help ensure the sustained care for our waterways through short term interventions and long-term technical solutions,” Basilio further said.

The Php4.164 B Aglipay STP is the first wastewater treatment facility of Manila Water that will utilize the Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) process with Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) technology, which will promote treatment efficiency and improve effluent quality. Construction of the STP is expected to be completed by 2024 and the sewer network by 2025.

The event also highlighted the company’s immediate and urgent response to cleaning and maintaining Metro Manila’s three-river system and their tributaries, specifically San Juan River through a follow up to the Adopt-an-Estero program launched last month in San Juan City. For Mandaluyong City, technical interventions will be implemented along Buayang Bato and Buhangin Creeks. These interventions include the application of Biomix, a Manila Water Laboratory Services patented cultured bacteria, to Buayang Bato Creek to reduce foul odor and coliform count. Likewise, for Buhangin Creek, artificial turbulence will be applied to help promote movement of water even during dry season.

“Through these projects and programs, we signify our continued to support for the government’s environmental initiatives to clean Metro Manila’s waterways to contribute to the rehabilitation of Manila Bay,” Basilio added.

The event was attended by officials from national and local government, headed by Mandaluyong City Mayor Carmelita Abalos and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos. Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System-Regulatory Office (MWSS-RO) Chief Regulator Atty. Patrick Ty was also in attendance, along with representatives from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), headed by the Director Jacob Meimban, Jr., of the Manila Bay Coordinating Office.

Mayor Abalos expressed her gratitude and continued support for Manila Water of her constituency in Mandaluyong. “We can accomplish anything as long as we work together. We wish to thank Manila Water for implementing projects that will benefit Mandaleños for generations to come,” she added.

For his part, MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, commended Manila Water for its part in addressing what he called Metro Manila’s ‘urban decay’ underscoring the importance of the soon-to-be-built wastewater facility in helping alleviate the current concerns on environmental protection plaguing the country. He added that the STP is an infrastructure not only Mandaluyong City can be proud of but also of the whole country.

Director Meimban shared DENR’s appreciation of the company’s contribution towards the clean-up of Manila Bay. “Since Sec. Cimatu organized the Manila Bay Task Force and launched the ‘Battle for Manila Bay’, Manila Water has been aggressive in its efforts to help clean the tributaries that empty into Manila Bay, helping us move closer to our goal of bringing Manila Bay back to its old glory,” Meimban said.

Manila Water President and CEO Jose Rene Almendras expressed his appreciation to the different stakeholders particularly the local government of Mandaluyong for hosting the site of the STP. He likewise called for collaboration among different stakeholder groups to work together for the smooth implementation of the project so as not to inconvenience the public during the construction. “Once completed, Mandaluyong City can boast of a truly world-class sewage treatment facility that will redound to urban growth and greatly help in environmental protection,” Almendras added.

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