The ongoing heavy rain has forced Solomon Water to shut down some Honiara supplies since Friday afternoon, due to high turbidity (silt and dirt particles in the water) experienced at the sources. This has resulted is most of Honiara customers without water.
CEO Ian Gooden said “Our water meets the World Health Organization (WHO) Standards about 98 % of the time. However it’s only following heavy rain particularly in Kombito and Kongulai catchments where illegal activities of logging and quarrying cause sediment that affects the supply and we must shut down·
He added “We cannot contiwe10 distribute water when the turbidity level is high as the disinfection process cannot kill any bacteria in the water, making it unsafe and posing health risks to customers.
Solomon Water over the weekend has restored supply for most areas except for customers feeding from Kombito as supply has only been restored this morning. However with the rainy season and ongoing rain today, customers are expecting more shutdowns which is beyond Solomon Water’s control as the underlying issue is the damage to the water catchment by illegal unmanaged logging in the Kohove and Kongulai catchment areas.
A boil water advisory remains effective for all customers receiving water.
Mr. Gooden further added Solomon Water under the Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Project (UWSSSP) is about to announce the award of a contract in the next few weeks for the construction of the Kongulai and Water Treatment Plant. The plant will take about 16 months to build and even though it will greatly assist in treating dirty water and reducing shutdowns, there remains a need to ensure that our catchment is properly managed. In the meantime we wilt do our best to minimize supply disruptions and thank our customers for their ongoing patience. •
“Our vision Is ‘Safe water tor a healthy nation’ and we are obliged to strive to provide safe water at all times“, the CEO said.
– Solomon Water