The Zamboanga City Water District is intensifying stepping up its anti-pilferage campaign as teams swooped down on three areas the past week in a drive to rid the local water firm system of illegal connections.
Operations Chief Engr. Alejo Rojas Jr. is overseeing the clean-up drive together with teams from the district’s legal department and field operations teams in sorties through Baliwasan Seaside, Asinan in Kasanyangan and another area in the same barangay and disconnected illegal water tapping in the water district’s main distribution lines.
The teams also netted several booster pumps illegally installed in the said area.
The drive is in response to the continued high losses through pilferage contributing to the persistently high Non-Revenue Water (NRW) the district continues to incur.
The campaign, which will be intensified in the coming weeks, will target areas where high NRW persists.
Those found with illegal connections will be automatically be cut off from the grid, and legal action will be taken against them.
The field operation teams will also be tasked to ascertain owners of water connection in the areas so appropriate charges can be brought against them.
Also, technical teams under OIC Administration Group Reynaldo Cabilin have started the installation of reinforced metal cages on water meter cluster connections to forestall tampering of and theft of water meters.
High incidence of meters being vandalized and actual theft of meters have been reported in some areas of the city.
‘This is putting teeth to our campaign to end these malpractices at the same time addressing the high incidence of Non-Revenue Water,’ General Manager Leonardo Rey D. Vasquez stressed.
We will intensify the campaign from hereon to send home the message the district is not tolerating these malpractices even as we are warning those involved of facing the full force of the law if they are caught engaging in these illegal activities.
Hefty fines and possible imprisonment await those caught with illegal connection, Vasquez warned.
Meanwhile, the improving water supply brought about by the onset of the rainy season has boosted water pressure in most areas of the city.
While this has improved water supply flow to customers, this has also contributed to the rising incidence of leaks and breaks in water pipes.
Line repair teams have been augmented in the field to address the high incidence of leaks in the system.
The operations group under Repair and Maintenance chief Engr. Valerie Y. Gutierrez has responded with round the clock focus on repair of main lines and distribution system to plug water loss in the system.
Teams have been fielded to as far as Vitali on the East Coast in response to customers’ calls for assistance.
Mostly the reports are water pipes leaks and no water as a result of line breaks in the system, Engr. Mark Reyes disclosed.
Plugging leaks and breaks in our lines is essential as this redounds still to put a halt to increase in Non- Revenue Water, which otherwise we could have channeled elsewhere to other customers in need of this water, Engr. Rojas added. (Ed D. Baños CREAS ZCWD)