President of the National Water Commission (NWC), Mark Barnett, says that the company is working assiduously to return to operation a number of its supply systems, which have been affected by the recent heavy rains.
He said that 100 systems were impacted.
“They were affected in various ways – flooding in some [areas], blockages resulting in low production or no production”, he said, noting that the heavy rains also resulted in high turbidity and disruption in power supply in some cases.
“We continue to work right around the clock to ensure that we bring those facilities back into operation as quickly as possible,” he added, while addressing a virtual press conference on Thursday (October 29).
Mr. Barnett indicated that the systems that are predominantly affected are those in rural communities and mainly in the eastern section of the island “where we really saw a significant disruption to our efforts to serve and to distribute water”.
“Portland is another area that had actually experienced serious disruption. We have been able to bring back the Charles Town facility. In St. Catherine, while we have brought back Tulloch Spring and Dinthill, unfortunately, Dinthill went back out (of operation) and so that would’ve been creating challenges for some of the communities,” he said.
He said that most of the disruptions that were experienced in the Corporate Area have been addressed, noting that areas such as Forest Hill, Jubba Spring, Belmore are back in operation.
Meanwhile, the NWC President informed that the Mona Reservoir and the Hermitage Dam are now at maximum capacity.
He said that all water restrictions across the Corporate Area have been lifted, but advised that there might be occasional disruptions “as a result of a number of leaks that we have seen popping up, and these leaks are now on some of our major transmission mains”.
As it relates to the company’s intake infrastructure, Mr. Barnett informed that the Yallahs facility, which would normally take up to 10 million gallons of water to the Mona Treatment Plant, is currently out of commission.
“With the increased siltation that we saw coming down the Yallahs River, the entire intake is blocked and… it is something that we have experienced just about four times in the last two months where we would’ve been cleaning that intake structure,” he said.