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Ormoc officials visit Leyte water treatment plant in Pastrana

PASTRANA, LEYTE – Mayor Richard Gomez, together with Vice Mayor Toto Locsin Jr., four councilors and city administrator Vincent Emnas, went into an educational tour at the Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) Production facility at Barangay Tingib, this town, on Wednesday, March 29. Ormoc officials visit Leyte water treatment plant in Pastrana Their purpose was to learn how water was being processed in the LMWD plant, and gain insight to what could present a solution to Ormoc’s water woes.

The four councilors were Rolando Villasencio, Dr. Mario Rodriguez, Tommy Serafica and Goito Yrastorza. Also with the officials is a water consultant to the USAID, Engr. Eric Tolo, and top personnel from the Ormoc Waterworks System Administration (ORWASA). Mayor Gomez said the educational visit was an eye-opener. The trip was prompted after consultant Engr. Eric Tolo, who made the rounds of Ormoc’s Ahag Filtration Gallery and 26 electricdriven
water pumps, reported that the reason why Ormoc had problems with water supply when it rains is that it didn’t have an ample backup systems.

He also noted that some processes in the water filtration protocol were absent.

Engr. Roy Urmeneta, head of the water resources division, entertained the Ormoc officials during their visit. He conducted a lecture first on how they processed their water.

T h e L M W D w a t e r production facility, it was learned, produces some 57-million liters or 57,000 cubic meters per day. It supplies the City of Tacloban and the towns of Dagami, Tolosa, Tanauan, Dulag, Palo, Tabon-tabon, Sta. Fe, Pastrana and Jaro. They have around 32,000 water connections. In comparison, the Ahag Filtration Gallery in Ormoc only produces 6,000 cubic meters per day and has 22,000 registered water connections.

In his lecture, Urmeneta emphasized that all facilities in their various plants are constructed with “twins”.
He said this is to ensure a 24-hour uninterrupted service to consumers, so that in case one is being repaired or
being cleaned up, the twin can function at the same capacity. This includes the receiving ponds, one-half of
which is about eight times larger than the receiving pond at the Ahag Filtration Gallery in Ormoc; the sedimentation basins, and, clear water reservoir. A second step to the receiving pond is the flocculation plant, which rids water of mud and sediments, by adding alum or tawas to the water. This step is lacking from the Ahag Filtration Gallery, it was noted, that is why it does not have the capacity to clear muddy water.

The last stop of the ocular observation tour was the water laboratory, where chemists test the waters for
acidity or alkalinity, and also for bacteria and contaminants.

Engr. Urmeneta said that their new plant, with a capacity of 32,000 cubic meters, was finished in 2012 for P 460-million. Ormoc’s waterworks system, on the other hand, was started sometime in 2006 and has already costed
the City around P 560-million. The latest fund allocation is 33-million that was earmarked in a supplemental
budget by the City Development Council to improve the Ahag Filtration Gallery.

Mayor Richard Gomez said the ocular tour was helpful. He is also thankful to the assessment made by Engr. Eric Tolo, whom he said could provide the answers to Ormoc’s water woes. Vice Mayor Toto Locsin Jr., on the other hand, said it was not enough to stop at improving the current filtration gallery. He added they are now looking for a
new water source, and has found one in Dolores. The mayor and vice mayor added they are not adverse to even studying the possibility of getting water from Lake Danao. “We have to look forward and plan for the water
needs of Ormoc for the next 20 years or more,” Vice mayor Locsin said.

By Lalaine M. Jimenea



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