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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Comerío to inaugurate water reserve system with 5,000-gallon cistern

Comerío Mayor José A. Santiago Rivera

By The Star Staff

With the primary goal of alleviating the water supply issues that hundreds of citizens face in emergencies, Comerío is set to inaugurate a municipal potable water storage and distribution system this Friday, a significant step toward a more secure future for the central-eastern mountain town, officials say.

The system, which cost $140,000 from municipal funds, has the capacity to store over 5,000 gallons of water.

Strategically located on the grounds of the Pasarell Neighborhood Services Pavilion, a municipal complex where other emergency services for citizens are located, the water storage and distribution system, which Comerío officials are calling an “acuífero municipal” (municipal aquifer), will be available to serve the community in times of need.

“The experience lived after the impact of Hurricane Maria challenged us to incorporate actions that would allow us to be more resilient in the face of emergencies,” Comerío Mayor José A. Santiago Rivera said while inspecting the operation of the water distribution system this week. “For several months after hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, many families were affected by the lack of water and tanker trucks; the service was provided to the extent we could do it. … Now, the reality will be different. When the Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (AAA) fails and there is no immediate response, the Municipal Aquifer will meet the demand.”

The “acuífero” project consisted of rehabilitating an old well, whose main function is collecting groundwater or rainwater that filters through the ground.

To put the existing well in optimal condition, work was done to install a new 1.5 horsepower, three-phase submersible pump capable of supplying 39 gallons per minute through a two-inch-in-diameter pipe. Within the different operational phases of the system, the water is stored in a 5,000-gallon cistern, which will, in turn, be distributed through five tap-type outlets.

“All the acuífero scaffolding has been connected to the Services Pavilion so that even if there is no electricity service in an emergency, the acuífero will work perfectly,” the mayor said. “The city is ready to face any emergency during the hurricane season that begins this June 1st.”

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