Water Treatment and Distribution
SUBICWATER relies heavily on raw surface water to supply the needs of the region. In fact, 99% of its raw water comes from rivers, thereby requiring a multi-stage treatment process, as opposed to water from deep wells, which require a minimal disinfection only.
SUBICWATER operates two conventional-type water treatment plants with a combined daily production capacity of 77 million liters. The output from the two plants is being augmented by four active deep wells located in various parts of the franchise area.
In total, the company’s water production capacity is at 84.05 MLD (million liters per day).
Binictican Water Treatment Plant
Sitting peacefully at the foot of the Binictican Forest is the Binictican Water Treatment Plant (BWTP).
This plant draws its raw water from six rivers cutting through this Freeport’s virgin forests. Its total production capacity is 39 MLD, enough to supply the full water requirement of this former US Naval Base and about half of Olongapo City’s water demand. Two wells in the Freeport add a combined production of 1.35 MLD on top of BWTP’s output.
Located inside the BWTP compound is SUBICWATER’s laboratory, where all water quality tests—physical and bacteriological— are being carried out.
All major components of the BWTP have been recently reinforced with high-strength carbon composites and glass fibers to lengthen their lifespan.
Mabayuan Water Treatment Plant
This facility is situated at the northern part of Olongapo City. It draws its raw water from two points of the Mabayuan River: at the Old Dam which transports raw water through sheer gravity, and at the New Dam, which is in the downstream portion of this water body.
The Mabayuan Water Treatment Plant (MWTP) can operate on a maximum capacity of 38 MLD for distribution to seven barangays of the City: East Bajac-bajac, West Bajac-bajac, Kalaklan, Mabayuan, Sta. Rita, Gordon Heights, and Old Cabalan.
A steel-bolted modular tank provides a two-million liter buffer supply for MWTP. Should there be technical problems in the plant, this reservoir can provide for the water requirements of the plant’s service area. In the dead of the night, when demand for water is at its lowest, the electric pumps in the MWTP can be completely shut down, resulting to significant savings in electricity and repair costs, since these vital machines can take some rest.
Another significant feature of MWTP is its automated water quality monitoring. Online analyzers were installed so that the MWTP can generate real-time data on water turbidity, residual chlorine, and pH level—its acidic and alkaline properties—in all stages of the treatment cycle, from raw water extraction to purification and filtration.
The collection, treatment, and disposal of wastewater in Subic Bay Freeport are accomplished through seven separate sewerage systems in the areas of Central Business District, Enron, Binictican, Kalayaan, Boton, Cubi, and Cubi Hospital.
Overall, the company operates and maintains seven sewage treatment plants (STPs), 80 kms of sewer pipelines, 1,378 sewer manholes, and 22 sewage lift stations.
In Olongapo City, SUBICWATER offers sanitation services only. The company, however, has a Sewerage Masterplan completely drawn up and presented to the public in as early as 2006.
The significant effect on water tariff, and the major traffic disturbance that the massive sewer pipeline laying would bring, are the major issues that have been considered in the putting the masterplan in the sidelines.
In the absence of a sewerage system in the city, officials have passed a resolution prescribing a standard septic tank design and the frequency of septic tank cleaning to strengthen the implementation of the Code on Sanitation of the Philippines.