Filter plant to ensure potable water even during flooding rises in North Cot

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/December 14) – After almost two years, the construction of a multi-million filtration plant, which would ensure safe drinking water for at least 24,000 residents in North Cotabato even during heavy flooding, is finally completed.

Stella Gonzales, general manager of the Metro Kidapawan Water District (MKWD), led Friday the inauguration of the P17.5 million reinforced concrete slow sand filtration plant located in Barangay Perez, this city, one of the watersheds in Mount Apo, the country’s tallest peak.

Cotabato Diocese Bishop Romulo dela Cruz and representatives from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) witnessed the event.

Engineer Wilisper Alqueza, MKWD assistant general manager, said the project is a component of their System Improvement and Expansion Program (SEIP), a P250-million loan they acquired from the Land Bank of the Philippines in early 2011.

The construction of the filter plant started March last year.

Alqueza said the plant has three main structures: silt interceptor, slow sand filter, and catch basin.

The silt interceptor will receive turbid water from the source through inlet pipes.  The pipes, Alqueza explained, would lead to the second structure, which is the slow sand filter where turbidity of the water would be totally eliminated based on the standards set by the Philippine National Standard for Drinking Water.

The third structure of the filtration plant, the catch basin, would serve as the collection box of filtered water.

“In this chamber, water is subjected to treatment with chlorine gas before distribution,” Alqueza said.

The outlets of the filtration plant will then lead to direct lines, which would provide supply to the whole area of Kidapawan City and the nearby town of Matalam, also in North Cotabato.

Gonzales said testing of water turbidity is done before and after every stage.

“In fact, turbidity of water would be determined even before it reaches the filtration plant,” she said.

Gonzales stressed turbidity, or the measure of relative clarity of a liquid, is inevitable in surface sources, especially during heavy downpour and floods.
The filter plant is also a response to the growing number of concessionaires.
“It (water) can be used all the time, even during floods where water is turbid,” Gonzales stressed.  (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)