MANILA – The Manila Water Company (Manila Water) on Friday commissioned the PHP5.6-billion Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 (NBAQ4) in Quezon City which will help ensure continuous water supply for over 7 million customers in the East Zone.

In a statement, Manila Water said the new aqueduct, which will convey up to 1,000 million liters of water per day (MLD), will pave the way for the inspection, assessment and subsequent rehabilitation of three other existing aqueducts, which have been operating since 1929, 1956 and 1968, respectively.

The NBAQ4 project involves the construction of a new intake facility and access bridge at the La Mesa reservoir, a 7.3-kilometer underground aqueduct with a 3.1-meter diameter passing under Commonwealth Avenue, and an outlet portal and downstream distribution works at the Balara treatment plant.

The guest of honor during the event was Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan.

“I know I have to participate in this occasion to emphasize the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving clean, reliable supply of water consistent with priorities under the ‘Build, Better, More’ infrastructure development thrust of the administration of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos… Today is really a reason to celebrate as the Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 or the NBAQ4 will be the lifeline of over 7 million customers in (Metro Manila) East Zone,” Bonoan said during his speech.

Councilor Joseph Visaya of the 5th District of Quezon City delivered the message of Mayor Joy Belmonte who highlighted the conscious effort of Manila Water not to disrupt the daily activities in the city despite the sheer magnitude of the project.

“The construction of the NBAQ4 did not cause any inconvenience to our residents, our commuters, and businesses. This innovation is a testament to their commitment to provide reliable and efficient services to our constituencies,” Visaya said.

Manila Water president and chief executive officer Jocot de Dios highlighted the importance of three Ps --Partnership, Promise and Plea-- in the NBAQ4 project.

“Partnership --this is a testament to the ecosystem that we have, not only with the government, but our private partners… Our Pledge to you is that we will continue to work silently but very effectively to bring a very unappreciated resource to our customers. The last P is Plea --let us honor the real heroes, the men and the women who built this (NBAQ4). Our plea is not only to honor them but to respect the work that they put in,” de Dios said.

The NBAQ4, one of the water company’s flagship projects, is part of the water concessionaire’s improvement and expansion initiatives in the East Zone in coordination with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).

The project used a tunnel-boring machine (TBM), which was named “Dalisay”.

It was the first time in the country that a TBM was used in an urban setting, allowing the massive pipelaying project to proceed underneath Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City without disturbing traffic since its launch in 2020.

The TBM broke through at the La Mesa reservoir in August 2021.

The facility is currently undergoing process proving and testing in preparation for its full operation.

The new massive aqueduct supports the current administrations thrust for greater infrastructure development under its “Build, Better, More” flagship program which focuses on the need for projects that will support conservation, climate change adaptation and resiliency and disaster risk reduction. (PNA)