On the 15th January Connect issued a Notice imposing water restrictions and committed to update the public within two weeks. Initially overall island treated water demand reduced from 1,200 cubic metres per day to just over 1,000 cubic metres per day but consumption is now increasing again and yesterday demand was back to 1,200 cubic metres.
The last rains were in September 2014 and the recent cloudy weather has not resulted in rain of sufficient quantity to restore raw water flows. Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far and the clouds have disappeared so unfortunately restrictions will need to be imposed and we will issue a formal Notice in due course. The purpose of restrictions is to ensure water is available for reasonable use so preventing the non-essential use of hosepipes, sprinklers, washing vehicles etc. in the affected areas are all measures that will help preserve stocks.
The restrictions will apply to all of the linked systems these being Redhill (St Pauls), Hutts Gate and Levelwood. This week incoming flows to Sandy Bay have reduced requiring bowsered water to be supplied now necessitating similar restrictions in the Sandy Bay area as well.
Consumers from the Redhill (St Pauls) water treatment works are also currently experiencing discolouration of their water. The Redhill raw water system comprises four reservoirs three of which have butyl linings. The largest of the reservoirs is known as the ‘Earth Dam’. This is unlined and during its twenty year life has never been dredged resulting in silt build up in the reservoir which is causing the discolouration. Unfortunately 70% of the raw water stock is in this reservoir and is being blended with the water from other reservoirs to keep the treated water as clear as possible. Dredging works are planned for later in the year but cannot commence until sufficient raw water stocks are built in the other reservoirs. On completion the discolouration that has been present at varying levels over many years should be resolved.
Despite the poor visual quality of the water the chemical treatment remains effective with the samples analysed by the Public Health Laboratory showing zero microbiological counts which in layman’s terms means it is safe to use as normal.
As a “goodwill” gesture and in recognition that some consumers may wish to purchase bottled water as an alternative to drinking the water available at present, Redhill consumers will be credited with £20 on their next bill. We thank all consumers for their patience and cooperation in this matter.
Connect Saint Helena regrets to inform the public that they are imposing a hose pipe ban for consumers in the Hutts Gate, Redhill and Levelwood areas and ask consumers to restrict consumption to essential purposes.
There has been a rapid decline in the raw water supply to Hutts Gate where flows from the watercourses have reduced from over 300 cubic metres per day at the end of December to 104 cubic metres today. The average daily consumption from the Hutts Gate water treatment works this month is 334 cubic metres.
This situation is unsustainable and we are supplementing the Hutts Gate area with raw water from Levelwood, Redhill and as far away as the Iron Pot borehole. All boreholes are currently running.
Consumers are requested to reduce their consumption to essential use only. Agricultural consumers are advised Longwood stocks should be used sparingly. The situation will be reviewed over the next two weeks where it is hoped that reduced consumption will stabilise the situation. Connect Saint Helena thank you in advance for your cooperation.