Maynilad embarks on lake remediation journey using ultrasound
A pioneering pilot project is reshaping the future of Laguna de Bay, the Philippines’ largest freshwater lake and the third-largest in Southeast Asia. Maynilad Water Services, showcasing innovation and a robust commitment to environmental stewardship, has introduced ultrasound technology to initiate the remediation of the lake’s longstanding water issues.
Maynilad introduced LG Sonic MPC-Buoys to combat Laguna de Bay's algae blooms
MPC-Buoys allow Maynilad to report real-time data on key water quality parameters
Maynilad strives to maintain high water quality standards from its raw water resources
The heartbeat of the region
Laguna de Bay serves as a vibrant hub for the 29 towns bordering its shores. It plays a pivotal role in sustaining these communities, serving as a crucial water source for irrigation, industrial use, daily needs, power generation, a transportation route, and a beloved recreational haven.
Given its significance, safeguarding this lake is imperative. However, water quality problems and algae outbreaks in the Philippines present significant challenges to sustainable development, public health, and the ecosystem.
High turbidity and algae blooms
Maynilad Water Service, responsible for water and wastewater services in the West Zone of the Greater Manila Area, caters to over nine million people and has proactively tackled the challenges faced by Laguna de Bay. Drawing water from the lake, the Putatan Water Treatment Plant has grappled with seasonal hurdles such as high turbidity during the “amihan” (wind) season and algal blooms during the dry season.
In 2022, algal blooms prompted complaints from Muntinlupa residents due to water service interruptions lasting from eight to 18 hours per day. Earlier this year, Maynilad encountered a 15-day period of water service disruptions. The primary cause was a production reduction at the water treatment plant due to high turbidity levels in the raw water from Laguna Lake. As a result, around 170,000 customers experienced water supply disruptions.
Real-time water monitoring
In a proactive move to address persistent algae blooms that degrade water quality, Maynilad took a significant step by initiating a kick-off project, installing LG Sonic MPC-Buoys that target a critical section of the lake. This groundbreaking technology, leading in environmental conservation, employs ultrasound’s power to combat algae without harming the surrounding ecosystem.
Placed near the intake structure of the Putatan Water Treatment Plant, three new MPC-Buoys units are designed to monitor and prevent algal blooms that could compromise the lake’s raw water quality. With real-time monitoring, Maynilad can swiftly detect potential threats and take immediate action to uphold water quality.
The MPC-Buoy systems provide real-time data on water quality, including parameters such as Chlorophyll α, Phycocyanin, pH, Turbidity, Dissolved Oxygen, and temperature. Drawing from over a decade of information collected from numerous LG Sonic devices worldwide, the system also offers a predictive model that alerts water operators to potential blooms or water quality deterioration.
Ultrasonic algae control is viewed as a long-term solution to address raw water quality challenges in Laguna Lake, ensuring consistent water service for customers in the south. Raymund Rasco, Water Supply Operations Manager and Process Engineer at the Putatan Water Treatment Plant attested to how LG Sonic technology empowers Maynilad with an innovative, world-class system that enhances their operations.
“From equipment installation to commissioning and operation, it was manageable and user-friendly. We were able to gather data as soon as we deployed it.”
This collaboration signifies the initiation of an advanced lake remediation program integrating digital twin technology into Maynilad’s operations. With a focused approach on real-time data and proactive monitoring, Maynilad is making significant strides to address challenges posed by algae and ensure the preservation of one of the nation’s most vital water resources.