Water outage due to high turbidity  - Solomon Star News

Water outage due to high turbidity 

02 December 2020

THE ongoing water outage faced by residents of the capital since Sunday is due to the continuing heavy rainfall at the Kongulai water source.

This was confirmed by the Solomon Water Custom Care officer to this paper.

A customer care officer said the closure of the Kongulai pump and gravity system over the past days is due to high turbidity caused by heavy rainfall.

However, she said Kongulai Pump and Gravity System has resumed operations as of last night to refill their tanks and reservoirs for supply and distribution to the capital.

The system is expected to fully recover within the next 24 hours.

However, according to the Solomon Water Facebook page, it said if the rain continues at the water source, they might turn off the supply without notice.

Solomon Water has appealed to its customers who are still receiving water to ensure to store their water for use in buckets and containers and boil all water for food preparation and consumption.

“We are constantly monitoring the situation and will turn on supply as soon as we consider it safe to do so.”

Meanwhile, a statement issued by Solomon Water late yesterday said supply was turned up on the 25 and 29 of November 2020 because of the high turbidity (silt and dirt particles in the water) experienced upstream due to heavy rains at the Kongulai water source.

Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer Mr. Ian Gooden said “Our action is necessary to ensure that quality and safe water is distributed to the customers. 

“One of the reasons why Solomon Water is shutting down supply during wet weather is because Solomon Water does not have a water treatment plant to filter dirt out of the water in heavy rainfalls, therefore the only option is to shut the system until water is safe for distribution.

“The cause of the turbidity is illegal and unmanaged logging that occurred in the water catchment area during 2019 and will continue for some time until the area recovers through vegetation growth. 

“We have as yet been unable to get into the catchment area to replant and speed this process up.

Mr. Gooden further stated: “We are utilising our boreholes at Ngossi, Titinge and Mbokonavera to fill up our Tasahe, Skyline, and Titinge tanks and extending supply to our East Kola tank to help alleviate the impacts of the Kongulai outage. However, this will only be for a limited time”.

Solomon Water has received funding from ADB and World Bank to support the implementation of its 30-year strategic plan and of the one major projects to be funded under the initiative is a water filtration plant at Kongulai which will help prevent water shutdowns in times of wet weather.

COVID-19 has slowed down the pace of the project, however, we are now at the stage of calling for tenders for the construction of the filtration plant and anticipated to start construction about May 2021.

Solomon water is also recommissioning the damaged White River borefield and pump station to assist with providing extra water when Kongulai is shut down, and this should be commissioned by February 2021.

Solomon Water apologizes to its customers and further advises all customers still receiving water to store water in buckets and containers and boil all water for food preparation and consumption.

We have restored production at 2 pm on Tuesday afternoon and most areas should receive water by late yesterday evening.

Newsroom, Honiara