Manila Water inaugurates Marikina sewage treatment plant

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MANILA, Philippines, Jan. 27, 2011 -- The Manila Water Company, in partnership with the city of Marikina and the World Bank, inaugurated today the US$4.69 million Olandes Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) designed to clean up domestic wastewater from Marikina and Quezon City and help reduce pollution in Marikina River.

Supported by the World Bank under the Manila Third Sewerage Project (MTSP), the Olandes STP can process up to 10 million liters per day (MLD) of domestic wastewater from 40,000 residents of Cinco Hermanos, Industrial Valley, and Sitio Olandes in Marikina City, as well as some parts of Quezon City.

MTSP aims to reduce the pollution in Metro Manila waterways and the Manila Bay, as well as reduce health hazards caused by human exposure to sewage by expanding the septage-management approach of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System.

According to Mr. Geodino V. Carpio, Manila Water's Operations Director, the Olandes STP is one of the sewage treatment plants that Manila Water has recently established in its concession area covering the cities of Makati, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Marikina, San Juan, Taguig, most parts of Quezon City, some parts of Manila, and the municipality of Pateros and some cities and municipalities in Rizal Province.

He said that with a $64 million loan from the MTSP, Manila Water has built five (5) major wastewater treatment facilities throughout its concession area. Three (3) more STPs are expected to be completed this year including Poblacion STP in Makati, Pinagsama STP in Taguig and Project 6 STP in Quezon City, while MTSP's biggest facility, Taguig Central STP is set to be completed by 2012. Prior to MTSP, Manila Water built 27 STPs through the Manila Second Sewerage Project, another World Bank-assisted initiative.

"Manila Water is on its way to implementing an aggressive and accelerated 100-percent sewerage coverage program called the 3-River Master Plan, which targets to restore the water quality of the three major rivers in Metro Manila-Pasig, San Juan and Marikina rivers -- and ultimately clean up Manila Bay," Mr. Carpio said. "The World Bank's MTSP is a big help to these efforts."

Apart from improving the environment, Manila Water's wastewater management efforts also aim to improve sanitation and health conditions in the community, and promote urban renewal, Mr. Carpio said.

World Bank Country Director Bert Hofman said the World Bank gladly supported the establishment of the Olandes STP because it's in line with the requirements of the Clean Water Act of 2004, the Philippine Medium-Term Development Plan targets from 2004-2010, and a recent Supreme Court ruling ordering government to clean up Manila Bay.

"This project demonstrates how a strong partnership and collaboration among the government agencies, the private sector and multilateral institutions like the World Bank could achieve so much in terms of cleaning up the environment and ultimately improving the health of Metro Manila residents," Mr. Hofman added.

Wastewater from Marikina and Quezon City communities surrounding the Olandes STP flows into the underground facility and undergoes the following cleaning process before it is released into the Marikina River:

  • Solids are screened and de-gritted to separate the debris from the liquid;
  • The filtered liquid is aerated in an equalization tank and infused with oxygen;
  • Micro-organisms degrade the remaining organic matter in the liquid; and
  • The liquid undergoes further clarification, disinfection, and chlorination.

The black sludge, a final end-product of the treatment process, is fed into a dehydrator to squeeze out any excess water. It is then hauled by a contractor to Tarlac where it is used in demo farms for sugarcane cultivation to condition the soil damaged by lahar spewed by Mt. Pinatubo when it last erupted in 1991.

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