A Guide to the 3 Types of Water Infrastructure in the Philippines

Water is essential to life, which means that it must be made easily accessible in places where human habitation exists. At the same time, water can also be a destructive force, as poor water quality can contribute to the spread of diseases and too much water can lead to flooding, which can then cause damage to property, injury, and even loss of life. To ensure that this precious resource is used efficiently, distributed equitably, and controlled effectively the Philippines is continuing to implement water infrastructure projects.

A Guide to the 3 Types of Water Infrastructure in the Philippines | CebuFinest

A Guide to the 3 Types of Water Infrastructure in the Philippines

It is hoped that these new infrastructures will be able to support growing urban and rural populations while also helping communities withstand the challenges brought about by climate change.

Water infrastructure Philippines developers understand that these types of projects have plenty of constituent components. In general, though, the system has 3 main types: water utility, wastewater, and stormwater. Becoming familiar with the different types of water infrastructure in their respective areas will help individuals understand the role that these play in ensuring that water can continue to sustain their communities and the factors that can turn it into a destructive force. Here’s a closer look at the 3 types of water infrastructure and the facilities that make them up.

Water Utility Infrastructure

Water Utility Infrastructure | CebuFinest

Water needs to be brought from its source to a place where it can be used, and this is the purpose of infrastructure dedicated to water utility. This system is designed to collect groundwater and surface water, make the water supply safe for consumption, and make it available to residential, commercial, and industrial facilities. From its source, water is directed to a treatment plant where it is treated to ensure that it is free from pollutants that might cause diseases or render it unfit for the purpose for which it will be used. 

At some point, the supply might also be stored to ensure that the community serviced by the water infrastructure will have sufficient access to clean water at all times, even during peak hours of use and droughts. In many places, water storage facilities like dams also serve as generation points for hydroelectric power. 

Once the water quality has passed standards, the supply will then be distributed to the water system’s service area. This is done through the use of a pipeline system. Different types of pipes are used for this purpose. There’s the primary feeder which connects treatment plants to service areas, secondary feeders that connect to distributors, and service lines that bring the supply to the water meter at the user’s location.

Wastewater Infrastructure

Wastewater Infrastructure | CebuFinest

Water is a finite source, and the wastewater generated by users must be collected and cleaned so that it can be reused or returned to the environment. There are homes and communities that make use of collection systems that direct wastewater to treatment facilities where it can be sanitized. There are also industries that generate highly polluted water which cannot be adequately treated in regular wastewater treatment facilities. In many places, these industrial users are required to clean the wastewater they generate within their facilities before they can release it to the environment or direct it into the shared wastewater collection system for general treatment. 

From one’s home, wastewater can be stored or pretreated in a septic tank or it can be transported by a series of pipes to a wastewater treatment facility. In many instances, there are also residential and commercial or industrial facilities that simply discharge their untreated wastewater into the environment, contributing to water pollution.

Bringing wastewater from the source to the treatment facility is a multistep process. Depending on the sanitation process used, treated wastewater can be utilized for irrigating agricultural lands or fulfilling purposes such as flushing toilets in residential facilities. There are also places that employ high-level water treatment facilities that can turn wastewater into safe drinking water again.

Stormwater Infrastructure

Stormwater Infrastructure | CebuFinest

Just like lack of water, excess water can also cause a lot of damage. Filipinos are well-aware of this fact, considering that the country is frequented by devastating storms and experiences a lot of floods. At the same time, flooding can lead to the spread of pollutants not only on the surface or ground level but also within underground sources of clean water. These issues emphasize the importance of having a robust stormwater system. Designed to manage surface runoff from rainfall, such a system conveys excess water to places where it can be less damaging. Stormwater systems are made up of collection basins and stormwater pipes.

In some places, stormwater systems are considered a part of green infrastructure, which is a network of adaptive structures that offer solutions to issues brought about by urban development and climatic challenges. 

ALSO READ: Drowned in Crisis: Cebu City on water supply shortage during pandemic

It’s easy to take water for granted until it is no longer available, there’s an excess of it, or it contributes to the spread of diseases. It takes a lot of consolidated effort from infrastructure developers, water services providers, and end-users to ensure that this limited resource is collected and used sustainably and that it will remain accessible to communities.

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