JIS News

President of the National Water Commission (NWC) E.G. Hunter has reported that 150 of its water supply systems were now in operation, which account for 75 per cent of total output.
Mr. Hunter, who was speaking at a press briefing at Jamaica House on Sept.17, said that immediately after the hurricane, systems were mobilized and attempts were made to restore supplies islandwide, especially to the essential services such as hospitals and the fire stations. He said that initial complaints about the clarity of the water have subsided as the quality had improved. “That is testimony to the efforts we have made on the national scale to restore this very vital service,” he noted.
Giving an update on the various water supply systems, the NWC President informed that in Kingston and St. Andrew, the major challenge remained the Forest Hill system, as not all the stations have been fully energized. He said the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPSCo) would be working to correct this problem over the weekend.
He said that Tankweld Limited was restoring the transmission line at the Seaview treatment plant in Stony Hill, which serves the Jacks Hill area and this line should also be in service over the weekend.
In addition, the Constant Spring Treatment Plant, which is the city’s largest plant, was now back online, producing 13 million gallons of its 20 million gallons per day capacity and enabling service to be restored to several communities over the last few days.
He said further, that the Tulloch Spring system, which runs from Bog Walk and serves some areas of Portmore, was partially operational but the St. Catherine community should benefit from an additional 4 million gallons per day with the energizing of wells in the north of Spanish Town last Friday.
He noted however, that there were areas that still remained un-served in Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth and parts of St. Mary.
The NWC President said the greater Mandeville water supply system remained a challenge, as the area was still without electricity. However, the company continued to truck water to Mandeville, including the hospitals and he commended WINDALCO and JAMALCO for also providing assistance.
Meanwhile, he said that most coastal areas running from Negril to Port Maria have received supplies over the last few days and the Bogue Treatment Plant in St. James continued to be operated by a standby unit.
Port Antonio’s water supply has also been restored. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, in commenting on the situation, said that the rapid response trucks would continue to serve areas without water.
He said there were reports of some units being “impeded” from trucking water to some areas and “instructions have been given that where a pattern of this sort was apparent, the government was prepared to provide security to escort the trucks. We can’t have a situation where there are communities that are denied access to water.”
Prime Minister Patterson also told journalists, that as more schools reopened on Monday (September 20) instructions have been given that where running water could not be made available immediately, the rapid response trucks should try to supply those schools with a reasonable amount of water to enable classes to resume.

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