Legazpi water unsafe for drinking

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LEGAZPI CITY (26-Oct-2012/PNA) – The city government here told residents to boil their tap water after recent laboratory analysis on samples showed it is unsafe for drinking due to excessive hardness, calcium and magnesium contents.

The recent study by the University of the Philippines Natural Science Research Institute (UP-NSRI)on samples of raw and processed water from Philhydro, the supplier of Legazpi City Water District (LCWD), showed a nine percent excess in hardness and 28 percent excess in total dissolved solids.

The UP-NSRI was requested by the Legazpi City Local Water Monitoring Committee (LCLWMC) last month to determine if LCWD water supplied to 25,000 consumers in this city is safe for drinking.

UP-NSRI took raw water samples from Barangays Pawa last September 27 and also took water samples on the same date from Philhydro’s processing facility in Barangay Bogtong.

The calcium and magnesium contents, hardness and dissolved solids were noted to have increased after processing the reason why the city government here denied anew Philhydro’s application for business permit this year.

The city government maintains that drinking water should have a hardness of about 300 calcium carbonate per liter, and total dissolve units of 500 mg/L for it to be issued a certification of potable water supply and a business permit.

The same was true last year in Philhydro’s application for business permit for failing in the random samplings by local health offices and UP-NSRI that was subsequently tapped by the city government revealed similar findings.

“The UP-NSRI’s findings this year are almost the same with last year’s. We can’t issue a business permit unless the people of Legazpi is assured through laboratory analysis the water they are drinking is safe”, said City Councilor Rolly Rosal, committee on public utilities chair.

The Legazpi City government declined to issue business permit to Philhydro last year when the tap water random sampling by the composite team from DOH and CHO earned unfavorable results. In an effort to closely monitor water quality in the city and to assist Philhydro and LCWD, the city government created the LCLWMC.

The request by LCLWMC late last month was an offshoot of opposing results of water analyses conducted separately by the city health office (CHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) regional office based in this city early this year. The former’s finding was that LCWD water remains unsafe for drinking while the latter certified its safety.(PNA)

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