The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has apologised to one of its customer who said she was forced to picket their headquarters after being billed for services she had not been receiving.
With placard in hand on Tuesday, Thalia Parker-Baptiste who picketed the Independence Drive head office told OBSERVER media that she would go 25 days out of an entire month without water only to receive a bill as high as $50.
APUA’s acting corporate communications officer, Anazette Reynolds told OBSERVER media yesterday that executives and technicians at APUA met yesterday to determine a strategy to solve the distribution problem.
“We can’t say that persons will have water 24 hours around the clock but we are working on a more efficient system so that persons will get water. “We definitely apologised for the customer’s inconvenience, we had been working tirelessly over the last few years to try and meet the demands of the customers,” she said.
The APUA operates five reverse osmosis plants and in recent times the authority said below average rainfall was to blame for reduced water production.
Additionally, Reynolds said that Sargassum seaweed was causing a problem for reverse osmosis production.
“It is the first time in the region that we have seen that magnitude of Sargassum so precautionary measures were taken to assess the equipment and make sure they are okay. Our divers did observe some patches of seaweed around the intake structure and as a result of that we had to conduct frequent cleaning,” she said.
Radio Range, Willikies, Potters, St. Clair Heights, Golden Grove are some of the areas that have not been supplied with water on a frequent basis.
On June 23, APUA Public Relations Coordinator Sharifa George told OBSERVER media that the reverse osmosis plant that supplies water to the eastern part of Antigua had been experiencing “reduced production.”
Then, George said that the authority was working on reducing the impact on customers. But since then, complaints on the airwaves and on social media about a lack of water have only increased.