Residents of Boscobel, St Peter may get their wish for running water this Christmas after all.
Barbados TODAY has been informed that the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has installed a bigger pump at Alleynedale, which is expected to alleviate the water woes currently impacting that northern community.
The BWA is also reporting a drop in the salinity levels, which had been impacting the water supply.
In an interview with Barbados TODAY Friday morning, BWA Corporate Communications Specialist Joy-Ann Haigh explained that while the new measure did not come with a 100 per cent guarantee, the water company was confident the new pump, along with repairs to several burst mains, should bring relief in a day or two.
“Today we would have put in a bigger pump at Alleynedale to send water from Half Acre to Lamberts to Boscobel. The systems are like a step system, so now that we have put in the bigger pump, we are hoping that this would solve some of the issues over next day or two. In other words it takes time for the system to go back to normal with the pumps; but hopefully we should see some relief by tomorrow,” Haigh said.
However, she made it clear that recently implemented relief measures had been in the pipeline for sometime, but had been delayed by a number of extenuating circumstances, including broken lines in surrounding areas.
“A lot of what happened with Boscobel was a series of burst mains in St Lucy that led to the bleeding of the system more or less bone dry. So they had to fix them and when you repair one, another one ruptures and you have to shut down the system again to repair it.
“We would have now repaired those ruptures which would now be able to accommodate the bigger pump to send more water to the reservoirs, and the last reservoir on that leg is Boscobel,” the BWA spokesperson stressed.
“You can’t bring a new pump in a system with all of these ruptured mains. In addition we were waiting on the salinity levels to go down before installing the new equipment.”
Haigh insisted that the BWA had not been resting on its haunches while consumers were reeling from the water shortages. Instead, she suggested, the state agency had been working to find solutions to the problems.
The BWA had issued a press release Thursday advising residents in St Peter, St Andrew, St John and St Joseph that “as a precautionary measure” it would reactivate some of the community tanks to ensure the availability of water “in the event that any unforeseen service disruptions occur over the Christmas holiday”.
It angered some Boscobel residents who had been experiencing water outages for lengthy periods, who last week had told Barbados TODAY they were having trouble summoning the spirit of holidays, with the thought of spending a third Christmas in a row without running water weighing on their minds.
“How could it be an unforeseen occurrence when we in Boscobel have no water at the moment? If the water was on now then by Christmas something happens [that causes it to go off] then you could talk about unforeseen. These people need to stop treating people as if they stupid. I am big man, these people need to talk to me as if I got understanding too, just come out and tell the people that they not getting any [running] water this Christmas,” Javon Scantlebury said.
Two months Minister of Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick unveiled Part 2 of his “Rapid Response” plan for the curing of this island’s severe water ills, including 50 free water tanks to residents in these water-deprived communities and the immediate establishment of a Rapid Response Unit at the BWA to deal with all customer complaints.