ALREADY suffering the effects of a severe dry season, consumers in central and south Trinidad are being advised to brace for a reduced water supply. The desalination plant in Point Lisas is scheduled to undergo routine maintenance from September 30 to October 15.The plant produces 40 million gallons per day and is used to supply the Point Lisas industrial estate as well as augment supplies to central and south Trinidad.
WASA acting chief executive officer Alan Poon King and general manager of the Desalination Company of TT (Desalcott) John Thompson, made the announcement during a joint media conference in Point Lisas on Thursday. They outlined the reasons for the shutdown and WASA’s plans to deal with the impact.
Thompson said the plant would normally undergo regular maintenance twice yearly, but this had been postponed owing to the severe 2019 dry season. “We then have extensive maintenance work to do to ensure reliability of the plant for next year’s dry season, and if all goes to plan we will be coming back up on October 15.”
He said extensive electrical work, including infrared and ultrasonic surveys, as well as major work on the plant’s storage tanks, are expected to be done. Poon King said several measures are expected to be implemented, including increased production and re-distribution of supply from the Caroni and Navet water treatment plants and the revision of temporary supply schedules.
“In TT, our production capacity is 242 million gallons of water per day including Desalcott which produces 40 million gallons. So Desalcott going off for 15 days will have a significant impact on the water supply.”He said while the Caroni plant has a capacity of 75 million gallons per day and Navet 20 million gallons per day, both plants are operating below their operational capacity “due to the reduction in the availability of water given the dry season conditions that we continue to have.”
“Conservation will be the key,” he said adding that areas in central Trinidad will be getting supplies between two to three days per week while south west Trinidad will receive supplies between one to two days per week.“We encourage again persons to conserve their available water, store what you receive from WASA even before the shutdown begins. Our schedules will be amended and published on the WASA website and also its Facebook page and on Twitter.”Poon King said the hose ban which had been instituted in January continues to be in force.
He said WASA will also be looking at its “stay connected campaign” where they are encouraging customers to pay their bills Some of the affected areas will include: 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, La Brea.
Asked about projections for the 2020 dry season, he said the authority “will not be in a position to fill totally our reservoirs so we will be looking at all sources including Desalcott to provide a reliable supply.”