Sison, Pangasinan- 35-year-old Jimboy Corpuz was once a patron of an old water table well in Poblacion Norte. He narrated that his family rely on the well as they have no other sources of water. Whether potable or not, they continued to consume water from the well.
Known to few people, water table wells found in shallow levels are prone to be contaminated by unwanted organisms because its water comes from open aquifers (underground bed or layer of permeable rock, sediment, or soil that yields water). These organisms are caused by leaks in septic tanks, sewer drains, and runoffs from poultry, piggeries and garbage piles.
To prevent water-borne disease outbreaks in the municipality, an installation of a
n artesian well was endorsed in the town. An artesian well was said to be safer because it gathers water from confined aquifer which can be found on a deeper level. In 2009, the first artesian well in Poblacion Central was built through the initiative of husband and wife solons, former fifth district Cong. Mark Cojuangco and former Sison Mayor Kimi Cojuangco.
According to its system project engineer Jonar Manaois, an estimated total of 100 deep wells have been installed in the fifth district of Pangasinan.
Manaois underscored that they also had a problem during the installation. He said that the town of Sison has a hilly community that some of the confined aquifers can be found 1000 feet below the ground.
Thousand feet of pipes are needed to finish the deep well which implies large costing.
To conserve and keep the constituents responsible of the water that they consume, a Prepaid Metering System was installed with it. Townsfolk refer to the mechanism as Automatic Tubig (water) Machine (ATM).
Prepaid cards were used to activate the machine to release water. Users only need to place the card in the machine and the water will flow immediately from the pipe. If they remove the card, the water will
automatically stop from flowing .These cards can be purchased from the Municipal Treasurer’s Office for a minimum price of 30 pesos each card. If their load runs out, they can reload it again in the same office.
Constituents, however, need not to worry about the price because they will be only charged as low as 0.10 centavos per five gallons of water compared to averaged price of 25 pesos of same volume from water refilling stations.
According to Municipal Mayor Mina Joy Pangasinan, collected funds from the water system will be used for its maintenance as the well also uses electricity.
When asked if the El Niño phenomenon affects the water system, Pangasinan told that the wells sometimes run out of water. Customers have to wait for 30 minutes and sometimes extends to an hour before the water replenishes. However, she pointed out that this instance was only a minor issue and should focus on the major problem which the system encounters, power insufficiency.