ICHO shuts down 21 water refilling stations

The City Health Office shuttered 21 water refillers for either operating without licenses or flunking water quality tests. (Photo courtesy of ERS)

By John Noel E. Herrera

The Iloilo City Health Office ordered the closure of 21 water refilling stations in the metro amid the acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and cholera outbreak caused by contaminated water.

Dr. Annabelle S. Tang of ICHO also said that most of the shuttered water refilling stations were operating clandestinely or secretly for lack of valid permits.

“Those water refilling stations, most of which are operating without the necessary documents. They don’t have sanitary permits, they haven’t processed their water potability testing, they are those who are operating secretly, and finally, they were caught,” Tang said.

Some of the water refilling stations did have valid permits but they failed to pass the initial water potability testing, thus they were temporarily closed and underwent another test. If they pass, they can again operate.

The 21 shuttered water refilling stations are:

Nick Water Refilling Station – Duran Street Sto. Domingo

Pipe Water Refilling Station – Infante, Molo

Pacific Bay Premium Water – Balabago, Jaro

JKL Water Refilling Station – Balantang, Jaro

FG Water Refilling Station – Balantang, Jaro

Aqua Living Water Refilling Station – Brgy. Caingin, Lapaz

Covater Refilling Station – Nonoy, City Proper

TJ Water Station – Tabuc Suba, Jaro

Metch Water Refilling Station – Tabuc Suba, Jaro

Tropics Spring Water – Tabuc Suba, Jaro

Elleysa WRS – Baldoza, Lapaz

Kriskate WRS – PHHC BLK 22, Mandurriao

Water Depot – South Baluarte, Molo

BG Nestubig WRS – Zone 3 Baldoza, Lapaz

Ann Drops Water Station – Zone 1 Baldoza, Lapaz

Richjene WRS – PHHC BLK 22, Mandurriao

Hydrachill WRS – Taal St. PH. 5 Alta Tierra Village Quintin Salas, Jaro

Bless Mineral Source – Telecom Comp. Quintin Salas, Jaro

RYP Water Supply – Zone 6 Buhang, Jaro

Dissert WRS – Grand Plains Subd. MV. Hechanova, Jaro

PSS Blue WRS – Lot 9, Blk. 5 Asico Subd. Camalig, Jaro

Aside from the 21, eight other water refilling stations were shut down by the city government on Thursday, Sept 1, 2022, as they failed to pass the Water Quality Test, including one that used to supply drinking water for the Mayor’s Office.

Mayor Jerry Treñas also said in his press conference on Monday, Sept 5 that those water refilling stations that are operating without permits will be closed and will not be issued a new permit for six months.

“Amo na we are very strict kay ti kabuhi ni ya ang naapektuhan mo,” Treñas added.

(That is why we are very strict because it is already a life that is being affected.)

Data also indicated that out of the 241 water refilling stations in the city, 188, or 78 percent were already inspected by ICHO with 50 of them found to be non-compliant, as of Sept 5.

Aside from the water refilling stations, ICHO also inspected 10,855 wells in the city, but only 541 or 4.98 percent were chlorinated while 50 were condemned, meaning the public is prohibited from drawing water from these wells.

Treñas issued Executive Order No. 054, directing all water refilling stations in Iloilo City to undergo mandatory water potability testing every month.

The EO also strictly mandates that only sanitation officers of CHO will be allowed to get the water samples and the samples shall only be tested in accredited laboratories.

He also said that water refilling stations that were found or confirmed to be one of the sources of AGE cases in the city might get sued.

Tang, however, clarified that “unfortunately, almost 90 plus percent of households in the city has two sources of water, deep well and the water refilling stations, so it is hard to point out the source of AGE cases in the city.”

She also reminded all the owners of water refilling stations to post their latest water potability test outside the establishment for the consumers to know that the water is safe, and reminded the public to thoroughly clean their containers first before buying water in refilling stations.

Meanwhile, the ongoing acute gastroenteritis outbreak has already affected 47 percent or 85 barangays in Iloilo City.

Molo district recorded the highest AGE cases with 83; Tanza with 69; Jaro with 54; Arevalo, 47; Sto. Rosario with 39; Lapuz with 29; Mandurriao with 22, and Lapuz with 19 cases.

Data from CHO as of Sept 4 indicated 354 AGE cases (161 recovered, 93 admitted, 61 under treatment at home, and nine fatalities) and eight cholera cases (seven recovered and one active) in Iloilo City.

Iloilo City was placed under a state of calamity last Friday, Sept 2 due to the AGE and cholera outbreak.