Authority explains water outages

Two separate water pipe leaks left Water Authority customers in the eastern districts without water for 12 hours Wednesday and caused low water pressure problems for customers in and around George Town.

A pipeline leak was identified around 3am Wednesday morning in the vicinity of the Bodden Town Police Station. While crews were making arrangements to repair the leak, a second leak was identified in the vicinity of Associated Industries on North Sound Road.

A Water Authority press release said 861 eastern districts customers were affected while the George Town leak resulted in ‘minimal low water pressure issues.’

‘The Bodden Town main line break took place at a critical location on the main that services the districts, hence the service was interrupted,’ said Rob Robler the authority’s chief operation manager. ‘We were fortunate that the location of the break in George Town was such that we were still able to provide service to all customers, with just a few intermittent low water pressure issues.’

Leaks in the same areas have previously left customers without water this year. A pipe leak near Associated Industries on 15 March left over 4,000 Water Authority Customers in George Town without water for about five hours. A break near the Bodden Town Police Station four days after that, on 19 March, left eastern districts customers without water for almost three hours.

Mr. Robler said the exact cause of Wednesday’s leaks had not been determined. ‘The exact causes of the breaks are difficult to ascertain as a number of factors come into play such as the age of the pipeline, ground conditions, and stress on the pipeline from heavy traffic.’

Water Authority Director Dr. Gelia Frederick-van Genderen apologised to customers for the inconvenience and also thanked emergency staff for working to fix the leaks as quickly as possible.

Water Authority Deputy Director Tom van Zanten said a North Side pumping station, expected to be completed later this year, will help mitigate such outages in the future as fewer customers will be affected by such pipeline breaks.

The Water Authority is also reviewing plans to replace the pipeline in the North Sound Rd area as a measure to reduce the occurrences of pipeline breaks, the release said.