SUBICWATER holds public consultation for Iram water supply project


About two years ago, SUBICWATER’s geo-resistivity surveys identified a possible ground water source in the Iram Resettlement Area in Barangay New Cabalan.

A test drilling immediately followed, but results were unsatisfactory: water yield was way below the minimum requirement to make the operation of a pump station viable.

At around the same time, the company’s test drilling in another part of New Cabalan was successful. Water from the Balite Spring, which used to augment the supply in the barangay, can now be diverted to Iram.

SUBICWATER immediately designed a three-phase program which was presented to the community on April 3-4.

Barangay New Cabalan officials led by councilor Dilbert Muega and representatives from the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) also attended the event.


BETTER LIFE IN SIGHT: Aeta children inspect the engineering plans of SUBICWATER with high hopes of finally having piped water in their homes soon.



3-PHASE PROJECT: The Iram water system basically has three requirements: a raw water pipeline that will be tapped to the existing Balite raw water line, a treatment and storage facility, and a distribution network to bring the treated water to households.


Phase 1: Raw Water Line

A 1.8 kilometer pipeline will be laid along the Iram Road to the water treatment and storage facility. The cement-coated pipe which will have a diameter of 150 mm will be tapped to the existing Balite raw water line.

This project will take eight months to complete.


Phase 2: Treatment and Storage Facility

SUBICWATER has identified several locations for this, but the ideal site is at Iram’s former helipad since it has the highest elevation. Water can thus be distributed to all points in Iram without the need for water pumps as sheer gravity can do all the work.

The tank will have a storage capacity of 5,000 liters and will work in tandem with a treatment facility capable of filtering and disinfecting 2 MLD (million liters per day) of raw water.

Project duration for Phase 2 is six months.

SUBICWATER also anticipated the future construction of a pump station in front of the Iram Day Care Center. As per the company’s experience, a significant increase in population usually occurs in areas where piped-in water has been recently made available.


Phase 3: Water Distribution Line

From the treatment and storage facility, a 1.2-kilometer distribution line will be laid along Iram Road. Lateral lines leading to customers’ households will be tapped to this 150-mm diameter pipeline.


This project will take eight months to complete.


Area History

The Iram Resettlement Area was created on May 25, 1992 by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 906. Signed by President Cory Aquino, the decree reserved a 74-hectare parcel of land from the Olongapo Watershed Forest Reserve for resettlement and livelihood purposes.

Sityo Iram, as it was called, served as the new home for Aetas who were displaced when Mt. Pinatubo ravaged their homes in the Zambales towns of San Marcelino and Botolan in 1991.

The Iram Resettlement Site has provided the community with sources of income from planting crops, raising livestock, and charcoal production, among others.

Water supply has been a perennial problem since the area was too far from SUBICWATER’s two treatment plants.

The community relies only on a communal water station which stores spring water on a concrete tank. The supply was simply insufficient, especially during the summer months when water yield from the spring source dwindles.

The limited supply was exacerbated by the steady growth in population, which has doubled to 6,500 from around 3,000 settlers 25 years ago.


HEALTH CHECK: Iram residents availed of the free medical consultation offered by SUBICWATER’s company doctor Josephine Escoto and HR staff Thea Miguel, a registered nurse.


PARTY TIME: While the adults take a lunch break, SUBICWATER and Jollibee Ulo ng Apo branch teamed up to give the Iram kids a mini-party with lots of fun games, cool prizes, and of course, delicious food!

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