Water supply restored in Bayawan after typhoon devastation
The new San Jose-Bugay water treatment facility in Bayawan City was officially inaugurated on 15 April. The ceremony marked the restoration of the water supply to the villages of San Jose and Bugay by the Bayawan Water District in close cooperation with VEI, a subsidiary of two Dutch water utilities.
Devastating flash floods
The restoration was needed following the devastations caused by typhoon Quinta in October 2020. The typhoon Quinta brought more than 200 mm rain in one day to Bayawan. The nearby Uwakan river rose by 8 meters and flash floods damaged many homes and infrastructure.
At the city’s water source facility, the floodwater rose 1.5 meter from the ground level of the facility up to the filtration tanks, reservoirs, panel boards, and electricals including the controls.
Flood proof treatment facility
Both Bayawan Water District (BAWAD) and VEI were already involved in a Water Operator Partnership to upgrade the city’s water supply facilities. In fact, an upgrade of the the water supply system to the surrounding villages of San Jose and Bugay had just been completed.
Since the onslaught of typhoon Quinta, BAWAD needed to rehabilitate the facility to be able to resume its water service provision. The new situation called for an improved facility that was floodproof and the ability to sustain a good water quality.
BAWAD designed a resilient facility based on ultrafiltration with a coagulations and flocculation pre-treatment. The facility also includes a concrete clarifier to sustain the water quality of the system.
The existing solar panels have been raised to 6m from ground level. The damaged solar inverters have been replaced. A standby generator is also in place now. Likewise, the control panels have been elevated to around 4m from the ground.
To promote sustainability especially for the Uwakan River, tree planting is one of the activities identified. This will help reduce run-off water as the land area is predominantly used for sugarcane farming.
Representing the local constituents, the leaders of San Jose and Bugay Barangay villages have expressed their commitment by signing the Sustainability Commitment. They agreed to support the protection of the San Jose-Bugay Water System along with the source, which is the Uwakan river.