Defective Angat Dam gate valve caused water loss

Posted at 07/21/10 3:08 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson admitted Wednesday that a defective gate valve in Angat Dam contributed to the water crisis being experienced in parts of Metro Manila.

"Sinasabi nila mukhang nagkakaproblema nang bahagya ang production noong nakaraang mga araw, kaya bagsak ang production or kaya bagsak nang husto ang supply ng tubig sa Metro Manila," Singson told radio dzMM when asked to confirm a report that a 1.2-meter bypass gate valve in Angat Dam is damaged.

Singson explained that the bypass gate valve is actually the low-level outlet, which is used to release water to the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) when Angat Dam is experiencing a low water level.

The newly-appointed Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) secretary, who used to chair MWSS, said he has been informed that the valve has been fixed.

"I understand they have been able to remedy this as of yesterday kaya tumaas ang production," Singson said.

Radio dzMM host, former Vice-President Noli de Castro, said that according to the report, the broken valve uncontrollably leaked water from Angat Dam, thus, contributing to the critical low-level of water in the water reservoir.

Cloud seeding begins

Singson has said that the government will start cloud seeding operation over Angat Dam to raise its water level and eventually ease the water shortage crisis in parts of Metro Manila that are being serviced by the Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (MWSI).

Singson also confirmed that the 2 generator auxiliaries in Angat Dam have not been working for a long time.

He, however, clarified that the generators are only for power generation and not in any way connected to the water shortage.

Meanwhile, De Castro also informed Singson during the interview about a leaking water pipe in Tayuman district in Manila, a Maynilad service area.

A radio dzMM report said that according to traffic enforcers assigned in the area, the water pipe leaked during a road construction being conducted by the DPWH.

Singson promised to look into the incident. He also said that he will inform the Maynilad about the water leak.

On Tuesday, the new DPWH secretary blamed the National Power Corp. (NPC) for the water crisis in Metro Manila.

He claimed that out of fear of water overflow from Angat Dam, the NPC released 3 months supply of water from November to December in 2009.

He added that another reason for the excessive release of water was to augment the power supply problem being felt in Luzon last year.