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BWA staff worked from Monday into Tuesday to repair ‘a massive burst on a 16-inch main’. Here, a crew is conducting repairs after draining the water from the area, locating the burst and isolating the section of the main.

BWA completes work on 16-inch burst main

Work continued for a second day, yesterday at Fairview, Christ Church, as staff of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) sought to repair “a massive burst on a 16-inch main”.

This burst was initially detected on Monday. This was following investigations by BWA to uncover why residents in Christ Church and St. Philip continued to experience low water supply, and in some areas outages, after repairs were done at the Hampton Pumping Station and it was fully back online.

Late yesterday, the BWA announced that it had completed work on the main and that water should start flowing back into the distribution network.

The burst main, which was situated in a bushy area some distance from the main road, caused the site to be extremely waterlogged and look like a large swamp. BWA crews worked from Monday into yesterday. They were able to drain the water from the area, locate the burst, isolate the section of the main and carry out repairs.

While repairs were being carried out yesterday, residents in both parishes continued to experience disruptions to their water service. The Christ Church Foundation School and the Deighton Griffith Secondary School were both impacted and were closed. Chief Education Officer (Ag.), Joy Adamson, in a statement, said both educational institutions were closed because of issues with their water tanks and there being no water in the area. Classes however continued at the Christ Church Girls’ School and Milton Lynch Primary School on the day. BWA deployed tankers to fill the water tanks of both schools to facilitate this.

Speaking to the media on Monday at the Christ Church site, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, said the burst was “not going to be an easy fix”.

“This was not something that we can find. This is deep underground; we only know that this was an issue because after we restored everything else, the system did not come back to normal. So this is not something that was overlooked. This was not something that was ignored… So we would not have found this except for the fact that something was up. Everything else was a go, but the system was not returning to normal and we started to trace where all the mains went and discovered this one.”

He also stated then that the Hampton Pumping Station was going to be switched off from 7:30 that night. This shutdown occurred and the facility was back online just before midnight. During the time it was off, the BWA staff changed a damaged pump.

Abrahams told the media on Monday that no expense was going to be spared to have the burst fixed and everything rectified.

“Those serviced by the Hampton Pumping Station are going to get some disruption tonight [Monday] and into tomorrow [Tuesday]. We will spare no expense. We will deploy all the necessary resources to have this done as quickly as possible, but the reality is, it will take as long as it takes. What I can undertake to do from the Barbados Water Authority point is that we will update the public constantly as to the process of the repairs. So I am asking that the public just bear with us and understand that this is a major issue we have to fix and there is no getting around it.” (MG)

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