The Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited (DOWASO) has said that a $2.6 million cash injection from the government is expected to minimize interruptions in the water supply to Roseau and environs.
DOWASCO General Manager Bernard Ettinoffe told a press conference this morning, that the recent interruptions have been due to intensified road works in which several pipelines have been damaged.
Ettinoffe said that $300,000 of these funds will go towards pipeline replacement and relocation.
“Government has approved $300,000 for the relocation of the pipelines from the area that is most affected. That relocation in a sense is basically using a more flexible line… and shifting that on the upper side of the road which in itself is not full proof but something that we hope will serve to minimize the frequency of interruptions on the system,” he said.
“We intend to use two eight-inch lines to replace the 12-inch lines that we have in the particular area so that if one of these lines break the other could still supply water to the city…” Ettinoffe said.
Stating that DOWASCO understands the need to have water in the city, Ettinoffe assured that the new pipes had already been ordered and are due on island next week. “By the end of this month we would see replacement of that section of pipeline,” he said.
The general manager also said that the remaining $2.3 million will be used to install a new filtration system to address a turbidity (water transparency levels) problem which the company has faced for some time, and a storage facility in Morne Bruce.
“As regards to the turbidity levels, again… the government has approved for us $2.3 million to install a filtration system on that water system so that even when there is turbidity in the water there will be no need to interrupt the supply to our customers because we have that major filtration plant,” he said.
“We are also advanced in the negotiations and planning for the installation of additional storage at the Morne Bruce area to serve the city of Roseau, Kingshill and environs so that even when there are interruptions we will still be able to supply water for some time to the areas affected by the turbidity levels,” he said.
Ettinoffe said that this will also allow for fewer interruptions in the water supply “even when the lines break, if they do continue to break as a result of road slippage because of the increased storage persons would see less frequent interruptions in their water.”
He said that the shortages have been both a financial burden and human resource one.
He explained, “What we have noticed in recent times is a significant amount of land slippage in the area around the road where the pipe passes causing frequent breakage to the pipes. In some weeks we have as many as three breakages which require significant resources, both financially and human resources to replace and restore that pipeline and to have water flowing into the system again.”
He also stated: “For us it is not a good feeling… every time we cannot supply water persons consume less we gonna get less revenue, which we badly are in need of at this time. We do not in any way want to affect the economy of this country, and the cruise industry is very important and they do rely on us for water and so when we cannot supply that water, it’s not a very good feeling for us and it doesn’t make any economic sense for us either.”
Dowasco is working with the Office of Disaster Management and the Public Works ministry in their efforts.