NEWS

Major Water Shutdown Planned For Areas In Nadi And Lautoka

An estimated 165,000 people in Nadi and Lautoka will be without piped water supply starting February 3 as part of a large-scale shutdown by the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF).
06 Jan 2018 11:57
Major Water Shutdown Planned For Areas In Nadi And Lautoka
The Water Authority of Fiji’s chief operating officer Saman Ekanayake indicates the defective valve in the Nagado Water Treatment Plant on January 5, 2018. Photo: Sheldon Chanel

An estimated 165,000 people in Nadi and Lautoka will be without piped water supply starting February 3 as part of a large-scale shutdown by the Water Authority of Fiji (WAF).

The planned move comes as a result of major maintenance work required on the Nagado Water Treatment Plant, and supply is expected to be fully restored by February 6.

WAF board director Kamal Gounder said the Nadi International Airport, hotels, hospitals and schools would not be affected by the shutdown.

In a press conference in Nasinu yesterday he said: “We are giving domestic customers almost one month to store sufficient amounts of water for the shutdown period.

“For families during the four-day shutdown period, (we estimate) they will require 200 litres of water for basic services like cooking.”

While advising customers to store water beforehand, Mr Goundar also confirmed that the WAF will deploy 100 trucks to ease disruptions in affected areas.

These trucks, carrying 5000 and 10,000 litre water tanks, will be placed in “strategic” locations as re-filling stations for people who run-out of stored water.

A WAF public advisory statement said a defective control valve and problems in the main transmission pipes had caused leakages and needed urgent repairs. The authority discovered a leak in the plant which it said could cause major long-term problems if urgent repairs do not start by the given date.

The treatment plant, located above the hills of Nadi, had caused disruptions in July and December last year.

However, this will be the first major shutdown set to affect a large number of people during a time of blistering heat in the western division.

Saman Ekanayake, the WAF’s Chief Operating Officer, said the repairs would take 24 hours to complete but more time was needed for water to flow back through the pipes.

“Before the repair (can begin), we have to empty all the pipelines from Vaturu Dam up to Nagado,” said Mr Ekanayake.

“After the repair, we will be putting the water back into the system because it will take a lot of time because all the pipelines will be empty so we have to fill everything (and) that will take two to three days.” Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj


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