Manila Water says brownish water from its supply safe to use

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) — Manila Water is urging consumers not to throw away the brownish water that comes out of their faucets amid the water shortage in Metro Manila.

Manila Water, the company in charge of supplying water to the eastern side of the National Capital Region, explained Friday that whenever pipes are not used for a long time, minerals which have settled at the bottom of the pipes make the water look dark. But the firm stressed the water is safe to use.

"Sana 'wag itapon kasi kulang tayo sa tubig, pwede gamitin pang flush ng toilet, pang dilig ng halaman at kung 'di maselan pwede ito ipaligo," said Dittie Galang, Manila Water's Communications Planning and Tactical Development Manager.

The concessionaire also promised that hours-long water interruptions will not last throughout summer, stressing that it has started implementing a rotational water supply scheme.

It however explained water supply is sometimes delayed because it has to maintain low pressure.

"Pressure is expected to improve in the coming days as the reservoirs are continually refilled to enable water to reach highly elevated areas," Manila Water said in a separate statement.

On March 7, customers of Manila Water were surprised by an unannounced water interruption. Since then, its customers comprising 1.2 million households have been experiencing no water supply or low water pressure. The water concessionaire attributes the shortage to the lowering level of water at the La Mesa reservoir in Quezon City due to the dry spell.

To help alleviate problems of government employees affected by the water crisis, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) said agency heads may suspend the requirement to wear uniforms by issuing internal rules.

"We understand that there may be employees affected by water shortage who are unable to regularly wash their office uniforms. We do not want this to become a reason for their absence from work and to eventually cause problems in productivity," the CSC said.