Maynilad admits ‘high manganese level’ in its Laguna Lake raw water supply
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By Bernie V. Lopez
Consumers in the southern concession area of Maynilad (Alabang and vicinity) are advised –
not to drink tap water or use it to wash rice or cook soup or brew coffee
because of “high manganese level in the raw water supply” from Maynilad’s Laguna Lake source, as admitted by a Maynilad letter to consumers (see their letter below). Maynilad advised the use of cloth filter, implying that their state-of-the-art water treatment plant at Putatan indeed failed to filter manganese.


MAYNILAD LETTER TO CONSUMERS click photo to blow up and read


Manganese poisoning involves –
This urgent advisory is being sent to consumers because Maynilad’s advisory is insufficient. They simply tell consumers to put a cloth filter on their tap, and/or let tap water stand for a few hours to let allow manganese sediments to settle at the bottom. They did not say if they can fully filter manganese dissolved in water. These are naïve solutions from a prestigious utility which promises safe clean water.
Maynilad has not given vital data, like current levels of toxicity, DOH allowable limits for humans, effects and symptoms of manganese poisoning, and if the Maynilad treatment plant can really fully filter out heavy metals like manganese dissolved in water. They said their water supply is “still within the parameters set by the Philippine Standards for Drinking Water” without giving quantitative figures.

The Maynilad letter blames the current drought and El Nino “causing more sediments such as manganese … to enter our water treatment facility”. Putatan supplies 100 million liters a day of water to less than half a million consumers.

There are hundreds of factories (circa 350 in the 90s) which throw toxic wastes in Laguna Lake, but get away with it by simply paying an “environmental fee” to the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA), amounting to millions per year. It is not known if LLDA uses the money for environment clean up. Water sampling conducted about twenty years ago revealed the presence of about 30 toxic heavy metals in Laguna Lake, which is the largest but shallowest lake nationwide. The accumulation of heavy metals in 20-odd years in a lake supplying water to homes is alarming. Perhaps it was a wrong strategy from the onset to tap Laguna Lake water. Should operations of lake firms be suspended until a study is done on their wastes? Should LLDA’s ‘environment fee’ be abolished as it induces more pollution, legalized by ‘fees’, rather than solve it?
Once manganese enters the soil through garden watering, it may seep into the underground water table system, which is irreversible. Its residue may be found at the bottom of home water tanks. It is not known if boiling neutralizes manganese. We are not even sure if drinking water sourced from Maynilad, purified by reverse osmosis, can remove manganese. At “high levels”, as Maynilad puts it, will it be safe to even wash dishes with tap water? Manganese is the tip of the ice berg. There are more deadly heavy metals such as mercury.


The law requires water utility firms to supply clean safe water to consumers. Should Maynilad be held responsible for inability to foresee long term problems in the use of the Laguna Lake source in spite of its sophisticated treatment facility costing billions of pesos? Is this a mismanagement issue?


Should Maynilad be compelled to stop supplying toxic water if they cannot treat it, and look for alternative sources, which may be non-existent, or may take years to fulfill? Will a water crisis force Alabang and neighboring areas to revert back to getting untreated water delivered weekly by trucks, which is inefficient and unhealthy, and may cost as much as ten times more? WE HOPE THIS THIS ARTICLE CAN REACH MAYNILAD TO GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO ANSWER ALL THESE QUESTIONS. Bernie V. Lopez, contributing columnist INQUIRER,
An American reply to China’s-recent-missile-test
This guy is trying to say – let the Filipinos do the dirty work and die for us.
“The US should just lend their HIMARS (U.S. light multiple rocket launcher mounted on an army truck frame, 300 km range) to Pinoy soldiers and let the latter test-fire those mobile missiles as often as they like, directed towards the Spratleys islands or where there are Chinese ships roaming around. The Pinoys can claim that they are just practicing with their new toys and the US can disclaim responsibility.”
5 eastwind Meditation Posters
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