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Manila Water, Maynilad supply 'not affected' by Taal Volcano ashfall

MANILA, Philippines – Concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services assured customers that water is safe to drink despite the ashfall brought about by the eruption of the Taal Volcano in Batangas.

Both companies said in separate statements on Monday, January 13, that tap water in the National Capital Region and in surrounding areas where they also provide water are safe to use.

"Make sure to properly cover water containers to avoid contamination from ash," Manila Water added.

Maynilad told Rappler that it is monitoring the water quality and may increase dosage of some chemicals in case water quality gets affected. So far, Maynilad said no such move is needed yet.

While ash has so far not affected water, going out without protective wear will cause discomfort. (READ: Manila begins crackdown vs stores 'overpricing' N95 face masks)

According to the International Volcanic Health Hazard Network (IVHHN), a global network of scientists: "Freshly fallen ash particles can have acid coatings which may cause irritation to the lungs and eyes. This acid coating is rapidly removed by rain, which may then pollute local water supplies. Acidic ash can also damage vegetation, leading to crop failure."

Though volcanic ash causes relatively few health problems, the IVHHN said respiratory and eye symptoms may increase after an ashfall event.

Residents in Calabarzon and Metro Manila woke up to a thick blanket of ash covering houses, trees, cars, and roads on Monday, a day after the Taal Volcano started spewing ash on Sunday afternoon, January 12. (LOOK: Houses, trees in Calabarzon, Metro Manila covered in ash day after Taal Volcano eruption– Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.

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