The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has confirmed that it is in the process of replacing the old PVC pipes within its water network with a much better quality pipe that would be able to withstand natural hazards and climate change.
Wayne Martin, superintendent of distribution and maintenance within the APUA Water Business Unit, made the disclosure a day after the utility company told reporters that broken mains within the network was preventing it from relaxing the water rationing schedule that has been in place for quite some time.
“We are using the HDP pipes, High Density Polyethylene pressure pipes. We are moving to that now, and this is being used when we repair any mainline. That pipe lasts for approximately 50 years, while the PVC lasts for 20 years, and the pressure rating for the new pipes are much higher,” Martin said on Wednesday during a media tour of the Potwork’s Dam and the treatment plant at Bendals Valley.
He also explained that the replacement will be very costly for the statutory corporation, but it must be done.
“Just for one foot of that particular pipe is U.S. $30. It is actually very expensive but we will be doing it in phases and we will get to that in the very near future,” Martin said.
Heavy rain over the past few weeks have contributed significantly to the country’s water catchment facilities to the point that there is enough water at Potwork’s Dam, Bendals Valley and other reservoirs to last for six to eight months.
However, authorities at APUA will have to repair several mains which were damaged during the rainy period.