Still no timeframe on when thousands of people will receive water supply

Still no timeframe on when thousands of people will receive water supply

By Mosese Raqio , Navitalai Naivalurua
Tuesday 26/03/2024

There is still no confirmation from the Water Authority of Fiji on when water supply will be fully restored.

People have been contacting us asking when will water will be restored while some have questioned the Authority if the problem is an infrastructural issue.

Some have also said that during heavy rain, water supply is disrupted and this is also the same when there is good weather.

As thousands of people continue to experience low to no water supply in Tamavua, Tacirua, Samabula, Dokanaisuva, Colo-i-Suva and surrounding areas, the Water Authority of Fiji says both the Savura and Waimanu Raw Water Pump Stations are still offline.

WAF Chief Operating Officer, Seru Soderberg says at this time, the water levels at the Waimanu and Savura Plants are still high, and their divers cannot safely dive with visibility underwater less than a feet which makes clearing out the water intakes difficult.

Soderberg adds their operational teams and their divers are on standby and waiting for flood waters to recede so they can carry out remedial works, whereby they can clear out the screens and restore water inflow into the Tamavua and Waila Water Treatment plant.

He says the heavy rain has resulted in severe flooding prompting them to switch off the electricity-operated water pumps for safety reasons.

The public is advised to store water and also harvest rainwater as an alternative. Soderberg says with the Raw Water Pumping Stations offline, this will reduce the raw water inflow into the Tamavua Water Treatment plant, impacting production levels and will later impact service reservoir levels.

He says between 2pm to 6pm yesterday, the Waimanu catchment received a total of 30 millimetres of rainfall over 4 hours.

He says this particular rain event caused heavy flooding at their raw water intakes at the Waimanu, Waila and Savura reservoirs.

Soderberg says what they also encountered at their raw water intake and their treatment plants at Waila and Tamavua was an increase in turbidity levels reaching as high as 257ndu and flooding at their Savura Raw Water Pump Station.

He further says on top of the flooding, they also encountered blockage of their intake screens, and it is still currently blocked.

Soderberg says this is severely affecting their ability to produce water at the Tamavua and the Waila water treatment plants.

He says at the Tamavua Water treatment plant, their raw water inflow has reduced from 70 megalitres a day to 41 megalitres a day, whereas at the Waila raw Water treatment plant, the raw water inflow has reduced from 100 megalitres a day to 80 megalitres a day.

Soderberg says these reductions in inflow are affecting their ability to produce enough water to replenish and sustain the levels at their reservoirs, namely the Wainibuku Reservoir, Tovata Reservoir, Kalabu Reservoir, Nasinu Reservoir, Flagstaff Reservoir, Toorak Reservoir, Shipping Reservoir and the Tamavua Reservoir as well as the Nagatugatu Reservoir, Tacirua Reservoir, Dokanaisuva Reservoir and the Colo-i-Suva Reservoir.

He says it is because of this, that water supplies to customers will be affected and also if WAF is unable to clear their raw water intake.

Soderberg says they apologise for the inconvenience caused, and water carts will be provided to areas impacted as works will be carried out throughout today and into tonight.

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