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Enough water for all says WASA
The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) says there is an adequate water supply for customers in central and south Trinidad who will be affected by the ten-day shutdown of the desalination plant from Tuesday. Head of WASA’s strategic planning and investment Alan Poon King gave the assurance yesterday at a news conference.
The shutdown will be in effect from January 15 to January 24. Poon King, who spoke at the Desalcott plant in Point Lisas, said, “All our plants are at max production and our impounded reservoirs are all filled. So we are in a good position to continue to supply the nation with a pipe-borne water supply.”
Poon King said water from WASA’s Caroni Water Treatment plant and its Navet Water Works in Tabaquite will be diverted to various areas which would normally have benefitted from a supply from the desalination plant. He stressed the need for conservation of water during the shutdown period. WASA, Poon King said, has doubled its water-truck fleet in preparation for increased delivery of truck-borne water.
Additionally, he said, WASA has pulled its resources from ongoing projects to repair leaks and increased its stock of equipment and materials for repairs. He said the plant’s shutdown will cost WASA $4 million. General manager of Desalcott,John D Thompson who also addressed the briefing, said the shutdown was necessary for maintenance. He assured the company would work as quickly as possible to ensure the shutdown does not go beyond ten days.
However, he said some of the work was under water at the plant and that may impact on the completion of maintenance work. “There is some aspect of the unknown which we will encounter while we are doing the work, but again we have taken all measures we can to ensure that we get it done on time, or faster,” Thompson said.
Poon King assured that systems had been put in place to monitor water supplies to all essential services such as hospitals, the Fire Services and schools in central and south Trinidad during the shutdown period. “We have started the process of getting ready for the shutdown. We have started filling our large tanks in San Fernando and central Trinidad,” he added.
WASA, he said, also implemented a water-supply schedule which will be published in the daily newspapers this weekend. “There are no restrictions on water use but we will simply not tolerate nor will we facilitate wastage of water,” she said.
Water distribution and wastage
Central customers who had been receiving a 24-hour supply of water will now receive it eight to ten hours a day over the ten-day period. Customers in the southeast and southwest will receive a supply over eight to 12 hours, two to three times per week. He said the desalination plant at Point Lisas accounted for 12 per cent of WASA’s total average water supply.
It produces 30 million gallons of water a day on average. The utility’s corporate communications manager Ellen Lewis urged customers to manage their water and stressed that penalties for water wastage would be imposed.
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