By HERBIE GOMEZ
Editor in chief
THE water crisis affecting western parts of the city and Opol town in Misamis Oriental would last for at least another week or until Sunday.
It appeared like no actual repair has been done on Rio Verde Water Consortium Inc.’s damaged main steel pipe which is submerged in Cagayan River as of Friday, according to Cagayan de Oro Water District spokesperson Ladelle Sagrado.
“Gahulat pa daw sila sa budget,” Sagrado revealed to the Gold Star Daily on Saturday.
So far, what Rio Verde workers have done since Tuesday when the crisis started, was merely to channel the supply of tap water through a 400-mm pipe along the Emmanuel Pelaez Bridge. But with it as the take-off point, the water pressure significantly dropped as the flow rate is only 1,250 cubic meters per hour which is only half of what COWD required of it.
COWD said valve adjustments were made by it in order to maximize the volume of water from Rio Verde.
The water supply has either been unreliable or absent in half the city and Opol town since Tuesday when Rio Verde supposedly started repairing its main steel pipe that was damaged apparently by debris brought by rampaging river currents as a result of heavy rains two weekends ago.
Sagrado said what she saw during the Friday inspection was that Rio Verde workers have yet to start the actual repairs on the damaged main pipe.
“There were clearing operations,” she said. “A backhoe was there.”
Sagrado also sent this text message to this paper: “[I] couldn’t really say basta at the time we were there, that was what we saw. [I] am not sure what other preparatory or remedial measures were undertaken.”
The actual repair of the main pipe would require diverting the river flow from the damaged part of the pipeline by a temporary dam.
This would enable workers to realign the pipe which may include installation of fittings, welding work to patch leaking portions of the pipe, anchoring of the pipeline to protect it from the adverse effects of the river current.
Sagrado said Rio Verde would also provide a spare line across the river to prevent the recurrence of a shutdown and to facilitate leak repair should a similar incident happen in the future.
On Saturday, the COWD announced that the Rio Verde pipeline repair could last up to 10 more days from Friday or until Sunday because of the “major damage” in the bulk water supplier’s system, resulting in low pressure to no water supply in the western parts of the city and Opol town.
In the meantime, COWD said, it would continue delivering water to affected areas using its tankers and with the help of the Bureau of Fire Protection that lent its firetrucks.
An operation center has been made available in COWD’s booster station in Macasandig.