abandoned by the miner, Philippine Iron Mines, Inc, in 1974. – MWBuzzpic by
ARNEL P HERNANDEZ
By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
A 10-YEAR old study on a potential water supply project for the 10 baranggays of Jose Panganiban has been submitted to Mayor Ricarte Padilla.
Titled “Water Project for Jose Panganiban Municipality”, the study has proposed to tap the water resource from two man-made reservoirs in baranggay Larap.
These are the abandoned open pits at the former mine site of the Philippine Iron Mines (PIM) Inc known as the “Main Pit” and the “Bessemer”, with a combined potential volume of 1 billion cubic feet.
Over the last 38 years from the time the mine pits were abandoned in 1974 after operations became unprofitable, water has accumulated and filled up the two pits.
These days, they look like a natural lake, and water from the two reservoirs is being tapped by residents in nearby baranggay Larap for washing and other household uses.
The study was conducted by Mechanical Engineer Samuel Tatom (JPNHS Batch ‘66) for a proposed water project.
However, it was shelved as it would need at least P40 million to get it off the ground.
As proposed, the project would be funded by a bank (soft) loan with a yearly interest payment of P2 million.
Done in 2000, the study could be used as a springboard for a new water supply system in the municipality under Padilla’s administration, Tatom said.
A copy of the study was sent to MWBuzz recently.
MWBuzz sources said the study is under scrutiny by the municipal government as a reference for an expanded water system being planned.
At present, a private company simply called “Water Board” is operating a piped water distribution system for most part of the poblacion, as well as in many parts of baranggay Parang.
A sketch of the proposed water system showing the water (former open mine pit) reservoir (left), the pumping and filtration unit, and the piping system that stretches towards the 10 baranggays proposed to receive water service. – Diagram by Engr Samuel Tatom
The study said the volume of potential useable water from the two abandoned mining pits is about 3.7 billion gallons.
The water project would cover the 10 adjacent baranggays with an estimated combined daily water consumption of 750,000 gallons per day, based on the water use of the baranggays’ 30,000 residents in about 6,000 households.
The population cited in the study was based on the 1990 census, which showed that the municipality had only a total of 44,408 residents those days.
However, in a census carried out 10 years later – in 2000 – the municipality’s population ballooned by 35,565, or 44.5%, to about 80,064 in 8,969 households.
The study noted that in 2000, the poblacion and neighboring baranggays were sourcing their water supply from three municipal reservoirs namely, the Paltic, Orendain and Busic dams.
However, water from these three reservoirs had been depleted, and the dam structures had deteriorated “due to neglect and poor planning on the development of watershed management”.
Because of this, most people in the poblacion and neighboring baranggays sourced their water from their own shallow/deep wells if not buying from water vendors and water contractors.
Tatom’s proposed system involved the piping of water from the two open former mine pits to the 10 adjacent baranggays, namely Larap, Sta Milagrosa, Calero, Parang, Plaridel, Motherlode, South Poblacion, North Poblacion, Bagumbayan and Osmena.
A powerful pump installed by the edge of the open pits will lift raw water from the reservoirs, chlorine-treat it in a nearby plant before pumping it to three elevated 100,000 gallon tanks sitting on a hill overlooking the Spurline area.
A six-inch asbestos pipe 13km long (comprising 2,000 pipes) will be used to bring water to the 10 baranggays. Each of the households will access water through distribution pipes connected to the main pipe.
Based on the 2000 costs, each household would have a estimated monthly consumption of water worth P150.
The study has estimated that the water project would generate and annual gross income of P10.8 million from the 6,000 household subscribers.
After deducting an annual operating cost of P4.2 million, the project would make at least P6.603 million in yearly net income, the study showed.
The ROI (return of investment) is 16.50%, based on an annual net income of P6.603 million.
The study showed that the cost of water per cubic meter (minus profit) is P4.04.
Tatom said of the study: If this project is implemented, this will answer the long-awaited dream of this municipality to have continuous abundant supply of clean safe water that may also serve as a springboard to answer the economic growth for this town.
However, he said that the study needed updating because there have already been many changes that took place over the past 10 years since it was written, such as costing and population increases.
Elaine Francisco, 10, enjoys a cool jet of water from a tap inside her family’s
vacation home compound in baranggay Parang, in Mambulao, during their
holiday in April 2011. Giving her the nice chill is grandma, Mrs Elvira P Henandez,
85. The water service, which is provided by a private water company in town, has
already reached several households in the community. Elaine is the daughter of
Larap native Theudy Elep Francisco, who is based in Saudi Arabia and Lourdes
(Bebot) Hernandez-Francisco, who works in Oman. – MWBuzzpic by ALFREDO P