Manila Water recently held the ceremonial contract signing that signals the commencement of the landmark Novaliches-Balara Aqueduct 4 (NBAQ4) project. The Php5.3B NBAQ4 project, one of the largest water supply infrastructure projects undertaken by Manila Water, entails the construction of a fourth aqueduct from the La Mesa Reservoir to the Balara Treatment Plants (BTP) 1 and 2 to improve the reliability and security of the raw water transmission system.
The signing ceremony was participated in by representatives from Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), Manila Water, Arup as the project management consultant, and NOVABALA joint venture, the project’s design and build contractor composed of CMC di Ravenna (Italy), First Balfour, Inc. (Philippines), and Chun Wo Engineering (Hong Kong).
In his message, MWSS Administrator PDDG Reynaldo Velasco (Ret.) said that this project is part of the agency’s water security program under the new administration. “Part of this is coming up with interim and long-term water source projects to approximate at least 4,000 million liters per day (MLD) in the next 10 or 25 or, hopefully, 50 years,” he said.
The three existing aqueducts, built in 1929, 1956 and 1968 respectively, are already nearing, if not already exceeding, the service life of 50 years for concrete structures and therefore are in need of assessment and rehabilitation.
The existing aqueduct system continuously transmits 1,600 million liters per day (MLD) of raw water to BTP. The NBAQ4 project shall provide a new aqueduct to enable the sequential temporary service suspension of the existing aqueducts for inspection, assessment and subsequent rehabilitation. The 7.30-km long and 3.10-m diameter NBAQ4, which is one of the first tunnels to be constructed with a tunnel boring machine in Metro Manila, is composed of a new intake facility at La Mesa, an underground aqueduct, and an outlet facility at BTP. The fourth aqueduct will have a capacity of 1,000 MLD and will be constructed along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City. Upon completion, the project will also provide emergency redundancy in the event of a failure in any of the existing aqueducts. Target completion for the NBAQ4 project is in 2021.