REPAIRS at the Point Lisas desalination plant were completed last Sunday and production returned to the contracted flow of 40 million gallons of water per day (mgd).
The plant had to be closed last week Friday, the second closure in four weeks, which saw many residents in Central and South Trinidad without pipe-borne water.
Manager, corporate communications at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) Daniel Plenty said the disruptions in operations which arose at the plant on December 3 last year and January 4 this year, were related to unforeseen electrical problems.
He said the Desalination Company of TT (Desalcott) had said, because of number of electrical/electronic components used to operate the facility, it was not possible to provide a specific time frame for resolution and restart of normal operations, as an assessment was required to pinpoint the source of the respective faults.
Plenty said the overall water production across TT was about 240 mgd and of this, 40 mgd was supplied via the plant, which was critical in the water-supply equation.
In 1999, WASA contracted with Desalcott to purchase 24 mgd for a period of 20 years.
The primary market for the water produced by Desalcott was the Point Lisas industrial estate tenants who required a higher quality of water to efficiently carry out their operations. Water in excess of that required for the estate was to be used by WASA to supplement its supply to residents of south Trinidad.
The desal plant plays an important role in supplying residents, so when the plant shuts down they remain without water, or depend on truck-borne water.
Plenty said with the Meteorological Service’s outlook of a harsher-than-normal dry season in 2019, WASA has been putting measures in place to mitigate against the impact of such conditions.
“WASA has met with Desalcott as part of its preparation for the anticipated harsh dry season and to address issues with plant reliability. In this regard, Desalcott has invested in technological improvements to its plant to deal with the high algal content in the raw water, increased salinity associated with the dry season and to sustain overall plant reliability.