THOUSANDS of consumers are currently without a pipeborne water supply at present, WASA has said,
This is mostly for technical reasons, including disruptions at a number of plants in both Trinidad and Tobago because of bad weather and high river levels over the past several days.
WASA (the Water and Sewerage Authority) said it expects the affected plants and pipelines to be up and running "within the next few hours" and for customers to start seeing pipeborne water on Friday.
WASA hosted a brief media conference on Thursday, by which time the weather had improved in most of the areas where operations were affected.
WASA chairman Ravindra Nanga said the authority continues to face challenges with operations and disruption in service to customers in the north, east and Tobago.
"Due to the high river levels, our plants are down, with the intakes being clogged," he said. But weather permitting, he said the majority of plants should be up and running and service restored within 24 hours.
Service has also been disrupted in Tobago. WASA's acting director of operations Shaira Ali said a crew there was busy with clean-up activity to restore the facilities to full operation. They are at Hillsborough West, Highlands Road and Charlotteville.
Ali said the weather earlier on Thursday presented "significant challenges at the authority with respect to the surface source treatment facilities."
In some instances, conditions were improving and WASA was able to restart several plants.
"Yesterday (Wednesday) we encountered two breaks on the 42-inch transmission main ( at Daniel Trace and Pine Settlement, Valencia) that supplies water from the plant to several of the off takes which supply the communities.
She said crews were immediately mobilised to both sites and had been working intensely overnight.
Because of "the challenges with the weather system, the high levels of rainfall and the river conditions," she said, WASA was "able to mobilise works last night. Crews were working (continuously) with the weather conditions as they were."
She said a crew remains at Daniel Trace, where there are several challenges, particularly the terrain, being in a forested area. The crew at Pine Settlement also faces difficult conditions, Ali said, because of the high river level.
But, she said, "We have equipment mobilised. We have the expertise, the engineers, the managers; they are all on site and all efforts are being made at this time to go into the second repair and have that completed over the next several hours."
She admitted the time frame for completion of repairs would depend on the weather at the various sites.
Ali said WASA was also engaged in other "major items of works" being co-ordinated in East Trinidad, particularly at the North Oropouche Water Treatment Plant in Valencia, which services over 100,000 customers in the East-West Corridor, from Sangre Grande to Five Rivers, Arouca.
Customers can call WASA for truck-borne water. However, places like health centres and schools will get priority.
Communities without water:
Sangre Grande and environs
Guaico Tamana Road
Manzanilla and environs
Malabar Phase I, III and IV
O'Meara (including the industrial estate)
Mausica Road (north and south)
Maloney Gardens; Five Rivers
Bon Air West and surrounding communities.
Plants out of operation at the time of the press conference included:
Quarry Water Treatment Plant, affecting Valencia and environs
La Pastora/McDavid intakes in Lopinot
Guanapo Water Treatment Plant, which supplies Arima
Matura and Tompire Water Treatment Plants, which supply Toco, Matura and environs
Blanchisseuse Water Treatment Facility