Water Business Unit manager explains the reason for recent disruptions

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The Manager of APUA’s Water Business Unit, Ian Lewis, yesterday sought to update the public on the reason for further disruptions to the water supply for consumers in specific areas.

On Thursday, APUA announced that emergency maintenance had to be carried out at the plant impacting the distribution of water to some communities on the northern, eastern, and central areas on the island for approximately 72 hours.

However, that news was not well received by residents who questioned the purpose or need for such maintenance to be carried out over three days, especially since they have been plagued by severe shortages in the water supply for a very long time.

But Lewis, while speaking on the Observer AM show, yesterday sought to clarify why the maintenance work had to be carried out at this time.

“One of the units has been taken out for preventative maintenance. It’s a routine that is done twice per year where a cleaning is done on the membrane.

“Now if we don’t clean these membranes, it means that we will continue to see a decline in production. So, every six months we have to take each plant offline and do a cleaning.

“That now will regain some of the production that is lost over the natural operation of desalination. So that is what happened at Crabbs,” Lewis said.

According to the Water Business Unit head, removing a unit like that would result in 7-8,000 gallons of water per day being lost, with about 8,000 persons being affected.

However, there was some good news for these affected residents as Lewis revealed that the maintenance work should have been completed by midday yesterday and the unit should be back online in the afternoon.

According to an APUA release, there were many different areas affected.

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