High manganese level in water supply
In a recent letter, Maynilad warned that it has “observed water discoloration in the southern portion of our concession area, (which) is due to the presence of high manganese level in the raw water supply that we are getting from Laguna Lake.” Maynilad blamed the current drought and El Niño as the reason “more sediments such as manganese… enter our water treatment facility.”
The letter went on to say: “We are continuously adjusting our operations in our treatment facility to fully contain the level of dissolved manganese. We advise our customers to put a clean cloth over your faucet to filter the water.” As to whether Maynilad is able to treat this current high level of manganese, the utility firm was not clear.
Maynilad gets its Laguna Lake water source at Putatan where it has a water treatment plant which supplies consumers with 100 million liters per day, and which began operations in January 2011.
Manganese poisoning involves permanent neurological disorder called manganism, with symptoms of tremors, difficulty in walking, facial muscle spasms, irritability, aggressiveness, and hallucinations.
There are hundreds of factories which throw their wastes in Laguna Lake, but they get away with it by simply paying an environmental fee to the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA). It is not known if LLDA uses the money for environment cleanup or simply for its overhead expenses. A water sampling conducted about 10 years ago revealed the presence of about 30 toxic heavy metals in Laguna Lake. (Read more.)
—BERNIE V. LOPEZ, email@example.com
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