Water Authority mounts round-the-clock response
The Samoa Water Authority (S.W.A.) has been working around the clock from a control centre at its Vaitele depot to reconnect water services after Cyclone Gita.
Since Saturday, all S.W.A. staff on Upolu have been assigned to repair the damage from Cyclone Gita and taking calls for help from people who have lost water supply.
A similar operation has been established at S.W.A’s Salelologa depot on Savai’i.
Most normal activities have been cancelled and all staff are focused on re-establishing water supply.
Water trucks are delivering to families and villages still affected and teams have been allocated to repair services in all urban and rural areas.
S.WA. is posting regular updates on its Facebook page as well as regularly updating the Disaster Management Office and media outlets.
The updates show the areas still experiencing water disruptions and S.W.A. is encouraging customers to report areas not listed or any damaged and leaking pipes.
Upolu customers can call 21267 or 20409 and Savai’i customers can call 51215 at any time.
The cyclone caused damage to pipelines, transmissions, water intakes and treatment plants and power outages meant that the pumps at many boreholes could not operate. The Moamoa transmission line was completely washed away and had to be replaced with a temporary line on Sunday.
However, as of yesterday, all urban areas had water restored although some areas might still be experiencing low water pressure.
All Savai’i supplies were also expected to be restored by the end of the day.
The main on-going problems are in Upolu’s rural areas served by boreholes and booster pumps which do not yet have electricity supply restored.
The authority is running water trucks to families in these areas until electricity comes back on.
The Authority’s settling tanks at Fuluasou, Alaoa and Malololelei have all been cleaned by hand over the last three days.
The tanks are very large and office staff joined operations staff to shovel sludge caused by Gita out of the tanks so they can effectively filter the water for drinking.