The Managing Director of Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.), Seugamaali'i Jammie Saena has dismissed reports that government-funded water provided for the residents of Asau is contaminated.
The Director was responding to questions raised with her after some Asau residents contacted the Samoa Observer to express their concerns about the water they are receiving.
They claimed that the water was not clean and that it was contaminated. They went on to say that instead of S.W.A. fixing the problem, they were given a 30 per cent concession by the Authority.
The concerned residents asked for their names to be withheld because they feared repercussions from the government and the village.
Contacted for a comment yesterday, Seugamaali'i said the concerns are not true. She said contaminated water occurs only when the water is infected with e-coli bacteria, which comes from leaked septic’s or human waste.
“That is not the case in Asau,” she said. “We have conducted testing and the water is not contaminated in Asau.
“The Asau water supply has improved and come next month, Asau residents will be charged in accordance with normal water rates.”
The Managing Director added that the Asau borehole supplies the area which feeds Asau residents.
“Asau supply has now improved so we will start charging normal come next year,” said the Director.
She explained Auala, Papa, Sataua, Vaisala, Fagasa and Asau residents are the ones getting the 30 per cent concession due to high salinity levels.
Salinity is the measure of all the salt dissolved in water.
Regarding Sataua’s borehole supply, Seugamaali'i explains that this borehole feeds Sataua, Papa, Fagasa and Vaisala.
She explained that Sataua’s borehole supply caters to four villages and when the residents use the water all at once, they encounter an issue of over pumping.
“In this specific area it hardly rains and so the usage of water is faster and there is not enough rain to replenish the water supply and that’s when the salinity issue occurs.
“The salinity issue or sea water is pumped together with the drinking water and that is why the water taste different,” she explained.
The S.W.A. is currently working on a solution.
“Remedial works underway for Sataua supply includes renewed pipelines which has already started and re-drilling of a new borehole at a site further inland.
“The estimated costs are around $2million and that should improve salinity problem.”
The $2million comes from the allocated funds from E.U. of $8million tala specifically for water supply developments for the whole of Samoa.
“The rest of the $6million is to help with the rest of the country that has no water.
“Currently S.W.A. is working on new water systems for villages like Sapulu Faleasiu, Lepale, Fasito’o Uta, Saleaumua, Afiamalu Se’ese’e Uta who does not have water supplies.
“We have also received request from Maagiagi residents for meter water,” explained Seugamaali'i.
Regarding Auala, Seugamaali'I says there is no other location further inland due to re-drill due to geological issues.
“However we have renewed all pipelines to decrease leakage and gotten rid of illegal connections and metered the supply to control usage.”
She further explained that Auala residents they can’t lower the salinity issue.
“We will have to turn off the pump and pray for rain to recharge the underground aquifer and start carting water to tanks.
“However the Auala village have asked us not to turn off the pumps, so they can continue using their water supply” despite the salinity issue.
“So we have to weigh out the needs and wants of the village of Auala.”