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The Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) has revealed that leaks in underground pipes around the island is one of the  major reasons why water distribution has been inconsistent.
At a news conference yesterday, Acting Water Manager, Ian Lewis, said  the Authority has been monitoring the situation since January and wanted to have a detailed plan before officially addressing the public.
Lewis said the leaky pipes, along with aging water pipes and abuse of the standpipes around the island, have been the main challenges for the team.
Lewis pointed to the city of St. John’s where leaks in the underground water distribution pipes have resulted in APUA losing half a million gallons of water every day.
“What we found out is that if we close the valve near the police station by the corner of Newgate Street, which cuts water from going to Point, we noticed that the reservoir stays up. So, it obviously means that we have a large leak in Point that’s causing the water to go away very quickly,” he said, pointing out that “estimates are that we lose probably 500,000 gallons plus in St. John’s on a daily basis.”
Lewis also mentioned that the persistent drought period has negatively affectively water supply, with the reverse osmosis plants now the sole supplier of water to the island.
He added that several of the reverse osmosis plants have been experiencing production issues due to the influx of the sargassum seaweed this year.
“Since the arrival of the sargassum seaweed, those [reverse osmosis] plants, especially around the Parham area– the Crabbs plant, Shell Beach plant—production has gone down,” he said.
Meanwhile, Water Distribution Superintendent, Wayne Martin, said that the Water Business Unit has created a schedule to efficiently distribute water throughout the island.
The schedule, that is expected to be posted on the APUA website for public view, will detail when water would be delivered, with some areas receiving water for three days per week.