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Lawmakers want answers on water quality in 3 barangays; DCWD hands tied

The City Council has summoned representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Davao City Water District to answer questions on the poor water quality in barangays Indangan, Cabantian, and Panacan.

In a long-winded discussion during the privilege hour on Tuesday’s session, neophyte Councilor Diosdado Mahipus Jr. and councilors Danilo Dayanghirang and Louie John Bonguyan grilled a representative of the water utility on “a decades-long problem in the area.”

“You have to understand, for us in the second district this is a sentimental issue,” Mahipus said.
Engr. Ronald Munoz, division manager of planning division, assured the legislators that the quality of water currently being supplied to the higher elevation areas is still within the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water.

The legislators said that there was a need to fast-track the construction of a proposed P12.6-billion bulk water supply, especially after Munoz said there was little the utility could do about the current water quality in the three barangays.

Munoz said the DCWD can only continuously monitor to ensure that the water remains within the quality standards for safety. But he assured that the quality of and supply will improve once the bulk water supply project is completed.

There are more than 35,000 concessionaires in Panacan alone. Meanwhile, the Cabantian Water Supply System, which also includes Indangan, has more than 10,000 service connections.

Munoz said that the water in the second district is sourced differently from the water coming from the Dumoy water supply, adding that the city has at least two hydrogeological systems.

The water expert added that the Cabantian and Panacan water issue had no bacteriological issues so far.

Meanwhile, DPWH officials would be summoned in future sessions to clarify whether road repairs were contributing to the yellowish-color or the sediments found in the water.

In a statement, the DCWD assured “that although its Cabantian Water Supply System (WSS) serving barangays Cabantian, Indangan, and Communal has different aesthetic qualities, quality control measures are in place to ensure water safety.”

The water utility said its crew has intensified source and pipeline flushing. Water sampling and analysis are also being conducted in seven water meter clusters within the immediate environs of the reported service connection.

The Apo Agua Infrastructura, the partner of DCWD for the bulk water supply, has targeted 2021 to finish the project. The bulk water supply project prioritizes Indangan, Cabantian, and Panacan.

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