AYALA-LED Manila Water Co. Inc. announced on Friday it was set to commence construction of the P5.3 billion Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 project (NBAQ4) in Quezon City, which is intended to enhance the reliability and security of the raw water transmission system.
The East Zone concessionaire said the undertaking entails building a fourth aqueduct from the La Mesa Reservoir to the Balara Treatment Plants (BTP) 1 and 2 along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City.
The fourth aqueduct will be 7.30 kilometers long and 3.10 meters in diameter. An aqueduct is a pipe or channel used to transmit a large quantity of flowing water to an area.
The company said the project is targeted to be completed by 2021.
During the ceremonial contract signing, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) Administrator Reynaldo Velasco said the project is part of the agency’s water security program under the Duterte administration.
“Part of this is coming up with interim and long-term water source projects to approximate at least 4,000 million liters per day (MLD) in the next 10 or 25 or, hopefully, 50 years,” Velasco added.
Manila Water’s three existing aqueducts, built in 1929, 1956 and 1968 respectively, currently supply 1,600 MLD of raw water to the Balara treatment facilities. But these aqueducts have already exceeded or have nearly reached the service life of 50 years for concrete structures.
The fourth aqueduct, one of the first tunnels to be constructed with a tunnel boring machine in Metro Manila, will have a capacity of 1,000 MLD. It will also provide emergency redundancy in case of a failure in any of the existing aqueducts.
“The NBAQ4 project shall provide a new aqueduct to enable the sequential temporary service suspension of the existing aqueducts for inspection, assessment and subsequent rehabilitation,” the company explained.
Established in 1997, Manila Water is engaged in providing water, sewerage and sanitation, distribution services, pipeworks, and management services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers.
The publicly listed firm was originally a joint venture among Ayala Corp., United Utilities Pacific Holdings, BV and Mitsubishi Corporation until it became an Ayala unit in 2010.
Shares of Manila Water stood at P30.55 on Thursday.