Drinking straight from the tap is pretty unthinkable to most residents of Metro Manila—that's why people invest in water filters, buy purified water, or boil their water before consuming it. It's a little known fact that private companies like Maynilad and Manila Water have been spending billions of pesos to transform the Manila water network since 1997.
"Water produced by Maynilad and Manila Water conforms to the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water set by the Department of Health (DOH) and compliant with the World Health Organization," says Yang Villa, senior manager of Metro Pacific Water. "Samples are gathered daily and tested in a laboratory to ensure that water supply meets standards. The DOH and Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System-Regulatory Office also conduct independent sampling activities to verify Maynilad’s findings."
This means that the water provided by both companies is guaranteed potable—at least until it reaches your meter. After that, whether the water is safe to drink depends on the material and quality of your pipes. For your water to be considered be safe to drink, there shouldn't be any leaks or damage to your pipes since these can become entry points for contamination. "Most houses today use polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes," Villa adds. "Galvanized or copper tubing are also used for high-pressure plumbing (like in multiple-storey buidlings) and hot water."
So how can you make sure your tap water is safe? We've consulted Villa, along with Jennifer Rufo, head of Corporate Communications at Maynilad, to get the facts.