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Drinking water Is it safe?

SLT 1254

March 2 – 8, 2024

MAASIN CITY – Water is an essential element of daily life, vital for hydration and overall health. The safety of drinking water is a top priority.
In an interview with Reyferendo M. Mercado, a sanitation inspector in Maasin City, on the water quality of refilling stations in the city, he disclosed that out of the 45 water refilling stations in Maasin City, two stations had to be temporarily closed. This was reportedly due to positive results from laboratory examinations in their water samples, indicating that their water was unsafe for consumption.
The water refilling stations that were ordered closed reportedly failed laboratory examinations, specifically because of the alleged presence of coliform bacteria in the water samples, Mercado said. One refilling station was located in Barangay Mantahan, another one was based in Barangay Tagnipa, Maasin City.
The sanitary inspector said that to maintain the safety of drinking water in Maasin City, every water refilling station must undergo regular laboratory tests. These tests include water bacterial examinations conducted monthly and physical and chemical examinations performed twice a year. The results of these examinations are typically available within seven working days.
Various factors can contribute to the failure of water quality tests. Malfunctions in equipment such as UV lights, which are essential for killing bacteria, and membrane filters can compromise the cleanliness of the water. Therefore, regular maintenance and testing of these machines are crucial for ensuring the safety of the water supply.
Water refilling stations in Maasin City utilize different water sources. From barangays Combado to Pasay, the water source is PrimeWater, while in Barangay Lib-og up to Barangay Panan-awan, water comes from deep wells or underground sources under CHU III. In Barangay Dongon to Barangay San Rafael, the primary water source is PrimeWater, while in Barangay Pinaskuhan to Barangay Hinapu-gamay, an improved spring serves as the water source.
Regular laboratory testing, proper maintenance of equipment, and awareness of water sources are essential steps in ensuring that the water supplied by refilling stations in Maasin City is safe for consumption.
Vianzee Water Refilling Station, located in Canturing, conducts backwashing every morning before opening, ensuring the tanks are clean. They also utilize a Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) meter daily to assess filter cleanliness. PrimeWater serves as their water source, and they employ a 3-filter purification process. Bottle cleaning is performed daily with water and soap as orders come in.
Vima’s Water Refilling Station, situated in Ibarra, Maasin City, employs Ultraviolet Sterilizers and a purified water filtration system consisting of media sand and active carbon filters. Managed by Rey Laraga, they also have a branch in Isagani, Maasin City. Their water source is also PrimeWater, and they utilize a 5-filter water process.
Abgao Water Refilling Station, located in Abgao, Maasin City, utilizes UV Light water filtration and adds salt to balance the water’s taste. Similar to the others, their water source is PrimeWater. The equipment for these stations costs approximately P300,000, and each water test costs around 300 pesos.
In Sogod town, the second most populous place in Southern Leyte, there are thirteen water refilling stations. One water refilling station which was not able to renew its operation is now closed, according to the municipality’s sanitation officer, Ricci Nelia O. Edurece.
(Marg Cadano, Andrea Vista)

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