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No big disruption in water supplies
Day one of the shutdown of Desalcott’s desalination plant ran smoothly yesterday, and there were minimal reports of disruption of water supplies to south and central Trinidad. Desalcott general manager John Thompson, speaking with the T&T Guardian in a brief telephone interview yesterday, said the shutdown at the Point Lisas plant began on schedule.
“We started today (yesterday) as planned and all is going well,” he said. “As planned, we ramped down delivery to WASA at midnight (Monday) and we are doing work all over the plant.” Thompson declined to give details of the work being done at the plant except to say it was maintenance work.
Last week, Desalcott and WASA held a joint news conference to say there would be adequate water supplies to customers during the shutdown, which ends on January 24. Yesterday, WASA’s head of corporate communications Ellen Lewis, in a media release, said Desalcott announced that work was progressing on schedule on day one.
She said, “WASA would like to reiterate that during the period of the shutdown, there will not be a ten-day cessation in supply to customers.” Lewis said temporary supply schedules have been put in place, and normal supplies would be gradually restored after the resumption of normal operations at the desalination plant.
She said the authority had instituted measures to minimise the impact of the supply shortfall to ensure an adequate supply to customers. These measures include redistributing supply from the Caroni and Navet Water Treatment Plants; increasing water trucking capacity to 83, and introducing a temporary water-supply schedules.
She explained that the plant provides 30 million gallons of desalinated water to WASA, which is used to supply the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and augment supply to areas in central and south Trinidad. Lewis stressed the need for water conservation during the shutdown. She suggested that users reduce consumption, eliminate wasteful habits and address leaks at home and at business places.
She also said citizens should establish and maintain a system of storage. “WASA urges customers to play their part as we strive to ensure minimal level of inconvenience during this period,” she said. WASA’s water schedule outlining the new days and times for supplies has been published in the daily newspapers. The schedule is also available on WASA’s Web site, www.wasa.gov.tt.
Hotline numbers have also been set up to address customer concerns. They are 800-4420/4426, 800-LEAK.
No problems reported
Yesterday, South West Regional Health Authority CEO Anil Gosine told the T&T Guardian the San Fernando General Hospital did not encounter any problems with its water supply on day one. “We have some water storage. We will be informed by WASA (of schedules.) We have someone in WASA as a point person who we are in contact with to deal with problems. We have no problems today,” Gosine said.
He said he had not received any reports of water shortages at any of the RHA’s facilities. The SWRHA oversees facilities from Couva to Point Fortin. Gosine said the hospital has 180,000 gallons of water stored and is working to raise that capacity to 420,000 gallons within the next six months.
Meanwhile, T&T Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) second-vice president Orville Carrington said schools functioned as normal yesterday, with reports of no disruptions. “We did not get any calls on the water situation. Schools functioned as normal. If schools had to close because of that (lack of water), someone would have contacted our office, and we had no calls. Most schools have storage tanks even if they have no water,” he said.
Carrington said he did not expect the effects of the shutdown to be felt on day one. “Tomorrow (today) it may impact on schools,” he said.
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