Wednesday 25 November, 2020

COVID-19: WASA implements water management plans

The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) said adjustments are being made to the water supply to bring water to those who need it.

The company said in a statement issued March 21, 2020, that the adjustments are being made in light of the current COVID-19 (formerly novel coronavirus) pandemic.

Part of this is an increase in the country's daily water supply by around 18 million gallons to over 232 million gallons of water daily. 

WASA said from Friday March 27, 2020, new water schedules would be listed via its social media channels.

“The Water and Sewerage Authority (the Authority) acknowledges the significant challenges facing our country, with the confirmed cases of Covid-19 announced thus far and need for water for personal hygienic purposes. The Authority also acknowledges its critical role in providing a safe and reliable water service to citizens across Trinidad and Tobago.”

“In this regard, the Authority has been making adjustments to its 2020 Water Supply Management Plan, in order to meet the additional demand created by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The company listed some of the measures being implemented as follows:

  • Redistribution of water from unaffected areas with high pressures, to more water stressed areas located on the periphery of the water distribution system. To accomplish this, Water Supply Schedules are being amended and will be published on the Authority’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages from Friday 27th March, 2020.
  • The use of water from the Authority's four main impounding reservoirs i.e. Arena, Navet, Hollis and Hillsborough, is being closely monitored and managed to ensure maximum water availability and production at this time.
  • Measures have been taken to ensure optimum water production from groundwater sources, by closely monitoring and servicing existing wells equipment.
  • The Authority is continually liaising with Desalcott – owners of the Point Lisas Desalination Plant and Seven Seas International – owners of the Point Fortin Desalination Plant, regarding optimization of their plant operations and production during this period. The Point Fortin Desalination Plant is however experiencing challenges with a high algae broom in the Gulf of Paria, which is negatively impacting production at the facility. The Authority has been making the necessary system adjustments, in order to minimize this impact.
  • The Authority’s water trucking fleet is being expanded, in order to cater for greater demand from harshly impacted communities/ customers.

WASA said due to the Dry Season water reserves, which are already lower than normal, are being affected. 

"The prevailing Dry Season conditions over the past weeks have begun to negatively impact production at several of the Authority’s water treatment facilities throughout Trinidad and Tobago. This as the country continues to experience below normal rainfall for the period January to February 2020 as follows: Navet – 25.8% and Hollis – 14.7%; while rainfall at Arena, North Oropouche and Hillsborough were marginally below normal for the same period."

"Based on projections of rainfall by the Trinidad and Tobago Meteorological Service and the need for potable water to counter the Covid-19 pandemic, the Authority has none the less increased its releases from its major impounding reservoirs by approximately 18 million gallons daily."

WASA reminded customers that water restrictions are still in place.

"The Authority wishes to assure customers that measures are in place to ensure the sustainability of supplies to our customers during this challenging period and beyond."

"Customers are however reminded that the Water Use Restrictions imposed in January 2019, remain in place, as a measure to control demand and reduce wastage."

"Customers are also encouraged to manage their water use wisely by engaging in proper water conservation habits."

"As the Authority continues to deal with the fluid situation arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, we wish to advise customers and the public that measures have been implemented throughout the organization to curtail the numbers of staff operating at various locations."

"This is in keeping with World Health Organization (WHO) social distancing recommendations, as well as the Authority’s Business Continuity Plan.

WASA added that due to health and safety measures there will be limited services at the company's Customer Business Centres, Call Centre and New Services Department in the coming week.

WASA said customers are strongly urged to use the Authority's Online Payment Portal on its website and the WASA Services App available via Apple or Play Stores to make payments, request truck-borne water supply or report leaks.

Customers can visit the Authority website for more details.

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