WASCO urges continued water conservation

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WASCO urges continued water conservation
WASCO water intake, St. Lucia.
WASCO water intake, St. Lucia.

Below is a statement from WASCO on the dry season and the recent rainfalls

The Water and Sewerage Company, Inc. (WASCO) is urging the public to continue to implement water conservation measures despite the rainfall in the past week.

From early February to the middle of March 2013, the island experienced a severe dry spell that reduced the amount of water available for treatment and distribution to customers. While WASCO has welcomed the precipitation, we remain mindful that we are still in the heart of the dry season and the recent rainfall has not restored the levels in island’s water sources fully.

In the south of the island, continuous rainfall over the past week (March 18-22, 2013) has helped to rejuvenate our systems since river flows affect production levels directly. However, due to the vulnerability of these rural systems, heavy rainfall has caused turbidity in some areas which resulted in systems being shut down, temporarily, to allow the water to settle. WASCO will issue public alerts if the yields from water sources fall as they did in the early part of March, where the flows were reduced by as much as 25% in some areas, causing rationing.

In the north, a plan has been developed to mitigate the effects of the dry spell and the impact of Hurricane Tomas on supply levels at the John Compton Dam (JCD), and other sources. Yields from the Hill 20 system which dropped by 20% from March 4-10, 2013 have increasaed. While the rainfall has not increased the supply levels at the JCD, the levels have held steady at 328 feet in the past week, after dropping from 333 feet during the dry spell. The Millet gravity system had been operating at 50% capacity, but an upgrade of the intake has resulted in more water being impounded.

In addition, WASCO has activated pumps at Ravine Poison to increase inflows to the Theobalds Treatment plant; is modifying the Vanard intake, sump and pumps to augment the supply; and expediting efforts to abstract water from the JCD below the level of the first abstraction port. In Anse la Raye, we continue to meet the demands of customers, though river yields have fallen. WASCO will continue to monitor all its systems and implement measures to mitigate the effects of the dry spell and compensate for the reduction in supply levels when it becomes necessary.

As Saint Lucia joins the rest of the world in observing World Water Day today, WASCO urges all residents to use water responsibly and implement conservation measures as a lifestyle habit to ensure a safe and reliable supply to all users.

For up to date information, you can visit us at www.twitter.com/wascoslu or at www.facebook.com/wascoslu. You can also call us at 452-5344.

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