JIS News

The National Water Commission (NWC) is working to restore piped water to all sections of the island and is appealing to the public to be a little more patient as it attempts to put back its systems into operation.
As at Friday (Sept.17) 150 of the 400 water systems had been put back into operation by the NWC, with the others to come on stream as soon as power was restored to the affected areas or road blockages cleared.
Meanwhile, the rapid response units, along with private contractors, continue to truck water to those areas without the precious commodity.
“We have been working 24/7 to deliver to as many areas as is possible, and as the areas that are receiving piped supplies increase, it will mean that the areas that require trucking will be less and therefore we will be better able to more effectively deliver trucked water,” said Charles Buchanan, Corporate Public Relations Manager of the NWC.
He told JIS News that in some instances, the work of the agency was being hampered by the inability to access its facilities, but informed that the agency was working with the National Works Agency to clear blockages from land slippages and fallen trees. “As soon as we can access and can get the power at the stations, these systems will be put into full operation,” he assured.
Among systems being given priority are the Mandeville system, where the water supply comes all the way from St. Elizabeth and must pass through several power-generated relay stations; the facility at White River on the St. Mary/St. Ann border; and the Grants Level facility in Portland, which needs electricity.
“We are working on a priority basis to make sure that our largest plants that serve the widest number of persons, especially those in urban centres, are able to receive supply in the shortest possible time,” Mr. Buchanan stated.
In response to complaints of lack of water by persons served by the Rio Cobre River, Mr. Buchanan has assured that the Commission was doing its best to correct the problem.
“The Rio Cobre is still extremely turbid and our Spanish Town treatment plant is therefore not able to be put back in operation. However, for many of the areas in Spanish Town, which would normally be served by this facility, we are seeking to serve them through the use of some wells such as the Friendship Well and others in the area,” he informed JIS News.
He noted however, that customers in these areas, as well as residents of St. Catherine and Kingston, who were supplied by the Eastern Headworks facility, which feeds into the Tulloch Spring system, might experience low water pressure and intermittent supply.

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