MAYNILAD Water Services, Inc. has stepped up its plan to reduce nonrevenue water (NRW) with the acquisition of a second mobile leak detection equipment to boost its leak repair drive.

In a statement on Thursday, the Metro Manila’s west zone water concessionaire said the Sahara mobile leak detection equipment acquired in 2010 had examined more than 830 kilometers of primary pipelines, enabling the company to resolve more than 1,000 pipe leak incidents and recover about 183 million liters of water per day (MLD).

“Underground pipe leaks are very difficult to find, so we utilize the latest types of technology to facilitate network rehabilitation and ultimately boost our NRW reduction campaign,” said Maynilad President and Chief Executive Officer Ramoncito S. Fernandez in a statement.

With the second unit, Maynilad can fast-track the detection and repair of pipe leaks, particularly in areas where there are high concentrations of leaking primary lines, the company said.

The equipment uses an acoustic sensor that is inserted into a pipe while tethered to a monitoring system on the surface. The equipment enables Maynilad engineers to conduct audio and visual inspection inside pipes without shutting down water supply to customers.

Maynilad said plugging leaks in the distribution system is a major component of its NRW management program, which aims to cut physical and commercial water losses.

It said aside from leak detection and repair, the program also includes network diagnostics, establishment of district metered areas, replacement of old water meters, and selective pipe replacement.

Maynilad, the largest private water concessionaire in the Philippines in terms of customer base, is the agent and contractor of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) for the west zone of the greater Manila area.

Meanwhile, MWSS Regulatory Office said in a statement that Maynilad had “conveyed readiness” to comply with the financial penalties imposed by the agency’s board of trustees “as a gesture of goodwill but without any admission of guilt.”

MWSS Chief Regulator Patrick Lester N. Ty said his office was informed of Maynilad’s decision through a letter dated July 3, 2019.

The penalty was imposed due to what regulatory office said was a failure on the part of the company to comply with its service obligations under the concession agreement, particularly its failure to provide 24/7 water services to its customers in portions of Brgy. Captain Albert Aguilar in Las Piñas.

Each severely affected account in the barangay will receive a rebate of P2,500, which will be applied to the August water bill until fully expended.

Severely affected customers are those deprived of water service with a minimum pressure of 7 pounds per square inch (psi) for a period of more than 15 days. — Victor V. Saulon