Operations at the Belle Pumping Station in St Michael which had been shut down initially for three hours on Sunday in order to replenish its supply, have now been restored, according to the state-owned water company.
However, Manager of Communications and the Rapid Response Unit at the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) Joyann Haigh said this afternoon that some residents in communities fed by the Belle station continued to experience supply problems.
“I spoke to the Director of Engineering Mr Charles Leslie . . . [this afternoon] and based upon what he is saying, the systems are fully operational as far as the water supply is concerned at the stations. And what the people at Rockley [Christ Church], in Belleville [St Michael], the Gap [Christ Church] and the immediate surrounding areas . . . some of them, not all of them, what they are experiencing right now is a supply and demand issue, which means that the system needs some time to fully recuperate,” Haigh told Barbados TODAY, adding that engineers had not found any other problem that would restrict the water supply.
Customers in parts of St Michael and Christ Church had been experiencing water outages or low water pressure as a result of the closure of the Belle station.
Haigh said the engineers were still carrying out precautionary checks up to this afternoon to ensure there were no leaks.
“At the moment, from all calculations it is a supply and demand issue, which means that those persons who are getting water that feed off of that system in parts of St Michael and Christ Church who are actually getting good water, hence they probably need to slow down a bit to allow for the others to get some and let that system normalize,” the BWA spokesperson suggested.
Haigh explained that if the systems were not fully replenished and customers continued to draw heavily from them, the water levels would drop again.
But while one problem may have been solved, a different one has emerged for residents and businesses along Highway 2A, including the communities of Haymans and The Whim, St Peter, Bagatelle, St James and Prior Park, St James.
The BWA official said the water supply in those areas was disrupted as a result of a series of power outages, which she said affected the breakers.
“That system primarily was being impacted by power outages and then when we restarted we realized we had some problems at the station as a result of the power outages with the breakers. So we had to manually restart, which we normally do, but we had to do some electrical work on that system as the power came back on,” Haigh said, adding that the BWA was in contact with Barbados Light & Power Company on the issue because “it has seriously impacted the systems”.
“The longer it is off, the more water goes down, the longer it takes then to get water back to people. Power outages would do that,” she stressed.
The BWA spokesperson advised that residents in elevated communities would begin to see water trickling back later tonight.
The power outage hit the island last Saturday. In a press release issued on Sunday, the BWA said it was investigating a suspected burst main which might have been impacting parts of Chalky Mount, St Andrew, Cambridge, St Joseph and surrounding districts. Meanwhile, it said that investigations were continuing into outages at Gibbons and St Christopher in Christ Church.