WASA urges citizens to 'fill up', two week water shutdown coming

More than 500,000 house­holds in South and Cen­tral Trinidad will be im­pact­ed by a short­age of pipe-borne wa­ter when the De­sali­na­tion plant goes down for 16 days in a planned shut­down next month.

Among the ar­eas af­fect­ed will be Ca­roni, St He­le­na, Char­lieville, Ch­agua­nas, Cunu­pia, Cara­pichaima, Cou­va, Clax­ton Bay, Mara­bel­la, Gas­par­il­lo, San Fer­nan­do, Co­coyea, Union Hall, La Ro­maine, Wood­land, Palmiste, Phillip­ine, Ram­bert Vil­lage, South Oropouche, Fyz­abad, Av­o­cat, Siparia, Pe­nal, San Fran­cique, Rousil­lac, Aripero and La Brea.


Dur­ing a press con­fer­ence held at De­sal­cott in Point Lisas on Thurs­day, gen­er­al man­ag­er of De­sal­cott John Thomp­son said the de­sali­na­tion plant will be shut down for main­te­nance.

"From the 30th of Sep­tem­ber we will be ramp­ing down and we have ex­ten­sive main­te­nance to do to en­sure the re­li­a­bil­i­ty of the plant for next year's dry sea­son. As usu­al, we will be do­ing ex­ten­sive elec­tri­cal work through­out the plant, in­frared and ul­tra­son­ic sur­veys. We will al­so be do­ing a ma­jor job on stor­age tanks through which all the wa­ter flows be­fore be­ing sent to WASA," Thomp­son said.

WASA's Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Dr Al­lan Poon King ad­vised cit­i­zens to stock up on drink­ing wa­ter.

"Store what you can re­ceive from WASA be­fore and dur­ing. Our sched­ules will be amend­ed and will be pub­lished on the WASA web­site and Face­book page and Twit­ter," Poon King said.

He said the hosepipe ban in­sti­tut­ed by WASA in Jan­u­ary 2019 con­tin­ues in ef­fect.

" That will be mon­i­tored and we en­cour­age that if peo­ple see il­le­gal use of wa­ter to re­port that as well," Poon King added.

Say­ing De­sal­cott pro­vides 40 mil­lion gal­lons of wa­ter to WASA dai­ly, Poon King said the planned shut­down will take place from Sep­tem­ber 30 to Oc­to­ber 16. In or­der to mit­i­gate the ef­fects of the sup­ply short­fall on its op­er­a­tions, Poon King said WASA will be in­creas­ing pro­duc­tion and re­dis­tri­b­u­tion of wa­ter sup­plies from the Ca­roni and Navet Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant.

"Navet is op­er­at­ing at 50 per cent of its ca­pac­i­ty and Ca­roni will be put at op­ti­mum lev­el as well to en­sure we can sup­ply and meet the sched­ules," Poon King said.

He added that there will al­so be the im­ple­men­ta­tion of tem­po­rary sup­ply sched­ules, in­creased wa­ter truck­ing ca­pac­i­ty and an in­crease in sup­plies to schools, health in­sti­tu­tions and homes.

In the mean­time, Poon King said cit­i­zens must elim­i­nate waste­ful prac­tices by re­pair­ing leaks and over­flow­ing wa­ter tanks at homes and at busi­ness­es.

He al­so urged peo­ple to pay their wa­ter bills say­ing WASA will con­tin­ue an ag­gres­sive dis­con­nec­tion dri­ve.

With Trop­i­cal Storm Karen, the reser­voirs have ben­e­fit­ted.

"In terms of vol­umes, Ar­na which sup­ports the Ca­roni plant rose .5 feet equiv­a­lent to 250 mil­lion gal­lons of wa­ter, Hol­lis rose by three feet and Navet rose by one foot, equiv­a­lent to 100 mil­lion gal­lons of wa­ter," Poon King added.

He said WASA has ex­pe­ri­enced deficits in rain­fall at all reser­voirs.

"For the rest of the year we will look at Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Ser­vice pro­jec­tions and match our pro­duc­tion to that," he added.

Reporter: Radhica De Silva


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