Manila Water to replace pipes

Manila Water Company., the water concessionaire for eastern Metro Manila, said it will spend US$ 271 million over the next 10 years to replace old pipes that could be sources of unsafe drinking water.

Manila Water Company., the water concessionaire for eastern Metro Manila, said it will spend US$ 271 million over the next 10 years to replace old pipes that could be sources of unsafe drinking water.

A unit of the Ayala group of companies, Manila Water, took over the century-old system formerly managed by the government's Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System. The company said it would spend more than US$ 47 million to replace about 300 km of aging pipeline and lay an additional 100 km of pipes this year in order to reduce non-revenue water caused primarily by illegal connections, Manila Water President Antonino Aquino said.

Non-revenue water projects, wastewater and sewerage expansion account for a third of Manila Water's capital investments, which are financed through internally generated funds and loans, Aquino said. Reducing illegal connections is only half the battle in the water service business. "The other half requires the company to make a big effort to prioritise the capital expenditure program and make no excuses of replacing everything that needs to be replaced, ranging from obsolete asbestos concrete, cast iron pipes, to corroded service connections. This is the only way to curb systems losses and convert these into billed volumes," he said.

"Urban poor households constitute 78% of the Manila Water's customer base of 4.8 million Manila residents," Aquino explained. "They also have an average consumption of 30 cubic meters a month."

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