THE Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 project is nearing completion after the tunnel-boring machine (TBM) employed in the works reached the La Mesa Reservoir, according to east zone water concessionaire Manila Water Co., Inc.
Manila Water said a ceremony was held on Aug. 14 after the TBM cutter head broke through to the La Mesa Reservoir, more than seven kilometers away from its entry point in Balara, Quezon City.
The TBM laid 7.30 kilometers of 3.10-meter diameter pipe underneath Commonwealth Avenue after its launch in Jan. 28, 2020.
“With the pipelaying complete, the TBM named ‘Dalisay’ and its accessories will now be dismantled and the construction of intake tower, outlet tower, and downstream network system will now commence,” Manila Water said in a statement.
The Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 project involves the construction of a fourth aqueduct from the La Mesa Reservoir to the Balara Treatment Plants (BTP) 1 and 2 to further develop the reliability and security of the raw water transmission system.
According to Manila Water, the project is projected to be finished by June 2022. Once completed, it will also serve as an emergency backup in case of a failure in any of the current aqueducts.
The project “enables the sequential temporary service suspension of the existing aqueducts for inspection, assessment, and subsequent rehabilitation to help ensure continuous water supply for more than 7 million served in the east zone. The system is composed of a new intake facility at La Mesa, a 1,000 million liters per day (MLD) underground aqueduct, and an outlet facility at BTP,” the water provider said.
Reynaldo V. Velasco, Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, OIC Administrator, said the Manila Water project is a water security program of the current administration.
“Part of the agency’s landmark achievements is coming up with interim and long-term water source projects to approximate at least 4,000 MLD in the next 10 or 25 or, hopefully, 50 years,” Mr. Velasco said.
Mr. Velasco said assessment and rehabilitation is needed since the three current aqueducts are nearing or exceeding their 50-year service life for concrete structures, having been built in 1929, 1956, and 1968, respectively.
“The existing aqueduct system continuously transmits 1,600 MLD of raw water to BTP,” Mr. Velasco said.
Manila Water provides water and wastewater services in the eastern part of Metro Manila, which includes Marikina, Pasig, Taguig, Makati, San Juan, Mandaluyong, portions of Quezon City and Manila, and Rizal province. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave