PUBLIC Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte said Murphy’s law was in operation at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) over the past seven days as over 70 million gallons of water was removed from the system because of unplanned shut-downs at several installations across the country.
After the launch of the San Fernando City Corporation’s curbside recycling launch at San Fernando Hill yesterday, Le Hunte was asked by reporters about the water shortage in several parts of the country. He said several plants had been shutdown due to mechanical issues.
“I think last week Tuesday we had a breakdown at Desalcott. They run a fairly good ship and they had some electrical and mechanical problems which resulted in them shutting down.”
He said the plant produces about 45 million gallons or about 20 per cent of total water production, and repairs were progressing as the company also flew in workers to assist with the repairs.
Le Hunte said while the Desalcott repairs were happening, the El Socorro booster plant, which takes water from the Caroni water treatment plant and transports it to north Trinidad, experienced mechanical failure on Saturday and this resulted in another 30 million gallons out of the system.
“So between Friday and Saturday, the system was short by about 70 million gallons of water, now we produce about 230 million gallons, but 70 million gallons is a significant amount of water so it resulted in a number of the areas not being able to have water.”
And if that was not enough, he said on Sunday night in the Cublin area at St Ann’s, several of WASA’s lines were damaged by TTEC which was also doing repair work in the area.
“That was repaired on Sunday, but by virtue of that mishap we ended up with a lot of people in that area, although there was water in the line, not being able to have access to it. So we had a rough time over the last seven days. A lot of people worked very hard in bringing it back up and I want to congratulate the management of Desalcott who flew in a number of technical people to get it going.”
He said these issues were indicative of the problems facing the utility including water storage, water production and the need to increase production.