Many people are familiar with the NEWater scheme by PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency.

The scheme sends used water through advanced treatment processes to clean it to drinking water standard, and it is used by industry and the remainder as part of the drinking water supply. The NEWater Scheme and Visitor Centre have long been regarded as a world leading case study on indirect potable reuse. 

In exciting news for the global water industry, another Asian city has also adopted purified recycled water as part of its drinking water supply – in this case direct potable reuse. Maynilad, the company which provides water services to around 9.5 million people in the western half of Metro Manila, is converting used water to drinkable supply called NEW WATER. The “NEW WATER Treatment Plant” receives treated effluent from its Parañaque Sewage Treatment Plant and converts it into drinkable water supply that meets the 2017 Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water.

This new project reduces reliance on Angat Dam given climate change effects. Water reuse will expand Maynilad’s options, especially when existing sources are compromised by drought or typhoons, thus enhancing water security, reliability and sustainability.

In October 2022, the Philippine Department of Health issued a Conditional Operational Permit allowing Maynilad to operate its NEW WATER facility, which converts used water to drinking water, for one year. Piped-in distribution commenced to two barangays (districts) in Parañaque City, benefiting 38,700 residents. After eight months of stringent monitoring, Maynilad was granted a permanent operational permit for its NEW WATER Treatment Plant in Parañaque City.

At present, NEW WATER constitutes to around 0.4% of Maynilad’s overall water supply. This is expected to increase to 3.7% by 2029, with new plants due to be built, which will benefit around 600,000 customers. NEW WATER is the first implementation of potable water reuse in the Philippines, and is the first direct potable water reuse in Asia.

The project won ‘Water Reuse Project of the Year’ at the 2023 Global Water Awards in Berlin, Germany.

For more information:

Maynilad’s Parañaque NEW WATER Facility touted as “Water Reuse Project of the Year” at the 2023 Global Water Awards

Maynilad allots Php5.7B for “NEW WATER” Treatment Plants

Maynilad starts distributing its New Water in two barangays in Parañaque

8 Apr 2024

Danielle Francis

Danielle Francis