(By Ernesto Cooke) – Vincentians should prepare for water rationing as the explosive eruption continues at La Soufriere.
The manager of the CWSA, Garth Saunders, says they have not been able to extract water from the rivers, and at this time, only 75 percent of regular storage is available.
“ We have to ration what we have until the quality of the water used to replenish the reservoirs meet our standards ”.
Saunders said at this time, due to heavy ashfall, the intakes have been closed.
“ CWSA has a limited supply of treated water extracted from the rivers before the volcanic eruption. However, we have to use that water in a prioritized way; the health facilities, the shelters and public entities that offer essential services will top the list”, Saunders says.
The CWSA manager stated that teams were out on Saturday visiting treatment plants to begin sampling and testing water. He says some testing would be done locally, with further testing in the USA through CARPHA.
In terms of immediate supply, Saunders said the CWSA would endeavour to distribute from its limited storage for several hours per day.
“ Because we are a gravity-fed system, some communities in the higher elevations would not be able to access water, CWSA will ensure to have the supply brought to residents of those villages”, Saunders said.
Saunders said sampling would be done on an ongoing basis in the distribution system. However, this is the raw water, and we are doing it this time because of the maximum ashfall.
“ So the sampling would be done on Saturday, Sunday, until the ashfall subsides, we don’t anticipate much problem, but we do this out of an abundance of caution”, the CWSA manager stated.
Saunders said in discussions with the volcanologist. It was pointed out that CWSA’s main problem would be the ash fall.