Valencia folks square-off with water district on water quality

Residents show to water district officials and news reporters the  spot in the creek where  a week before they found remains of a dog near the water intake facility of VCWD| Bukidnon News photo by Daniel V. Mental

Residents show to water district officials and news reporters the spot in the creek where a week before they found remains of a dog near the water intake facility of VCWD| Bukidnon News photo by Daniel V. Mental

CABANUANGAN, Valencia City (Bukidnon News/12 June) Around 20 residents here confronted in a forum on June 4 officials from Valencia City Water District about their fear that drinking water sourced from a creek in the village has been contaminated.

Residents took turns in expressing their observations. Some of them stopped drinking water after suspecting it wasn’t safe.

Arcadia Concha, president of Purok 18, said she raised the concern to the management especially that a pineapple plantation and a residential area are located above the source.

Concha said the presence of the plantation above the water source could contaminate their drinking water as “chemical residues might poison the water.”

The Cabanuangan watershed supplies water to parts of Puroks 18, 19, 20, and 21 of Barangay Poblacion, Valencia City.

The VCWD operates two watersheds, the other in Sitio Petition.  But only 2 percent  of the city water’s supply come from these watersheds. The bulk or 98 percent come from VCWD’s deep wells through pump stations stationed in different sites around the city.

Danny Vidal, also a resident of Purok 18, narrated that they found a dead dog in the creek near the VCWD intake pipe.

“How can we be sure that the water (supplied to us) for drinking is clean?” he added.

Residents also reported that sanitary napkins, diapers and other wastes scatter in the source and could possibly compromise the water quality.

The forum proceeded with clarifications from VCWD officials who explained the process of water purification and assured residents the water coming out of their faucet is safe.

Romeo Garcia, VCWD general manager, and other officials explained that aside from natural filtration process in the soil, water sourced from the area also goes through a battery of tests to make sure it is potable.

Edgardo Blanco, chief of VCWD engineering division, said they have a system to manage properly the water they supply. One measure, he added, is they get water samples to be tested for odor, color, and turbidity. Also they test the chemical conditions for temperature, acidity, mineral content, among others.

Blanco added that they also conduct bacteriological tests. He said water coming from Cabanuangan spring passed all the tests for January to March 2013.

At the end of the forum, VCWD officials assured the residents of water safety.

“If you have doubts on the quality of the water, you can get samples. Have it tested, ” one of the officials said.

There were some who showed signs they were not satisfied of the explanation, like Mr. Vidal. But Concha, the village official, said “at least they were enlightened.”

VCWD, however, reminded the residents to do their part. For them to have safe and potable water supply, they must also help keep the surroundings clean (Daniel V. Mental/BukidnonNews.net)

This should have been dispatched earlier. Our apologies.