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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Mayagüez interim mayor looks to accelerate repair of failed water supply pipe

The interim mayor of Mayagüez said the most recent breakdown impacting the drinking water supply in the western coastal city was the third to occur in recent days.

By The Star Staff

Mayagüez Interim Mayor Jorge Ramos Ruiz asked the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) on Thursday to declare a state of emergency in the western coastal town so that they can accelerate the replacement of the raw water pipe that supplies the Barrio Miradero Filtration Plant, which has left residents without running water on at least three occasions this month.

The municipal executive said the most recent breakdown is the third to occur in recent days, where even poles have had to be removed from power lines in order to carry out work in the Soledad community, where the 36-inch line that carries raw water from the Río Grande de Añasco intake runs to the Miradero plant.

“We have spoken with [PRASA] regional director … Eric Rosa and he tells us that at the moment we have low pressure, but that at midnight today [Thursday], they will stop the complete distribution to repair this new failure, the second that has occurred in recent hours,” Ramos Ruiz said in a written statement.

According to information provided by PRASA, the breakdowns are due to voltage fluctuations in the electric power service where the raw water pumping station on the Río Grande de Añasco is located. However, LUMA personnel suggested that the situation may be caused by the installation by PRASA personnel of a transformer of greater capacity than required at the aforementioned pumping station.

The interim mayor asked that the oases that are necessary in the city be well marked during the emergency, and stressed that the municipality will also make available two smaller trucks to mitigate the impact on centers for the elderly, hospitals and where it is necessary to bring in water by hand in containers.

“Despite this latest breakdown, water is still reaching the Miradero plant and is being processed,” Ramos Ruiz said. “They [PRASA] decided to delay the repair until late tonight, so as not to interrupt the service in the areas where there is some pressure.”

He added that it is expected that at midnight the supply will stop completely to repair the new failure in the hope that by mid-morning Friday the work will be completed and the tanks will be filled to restart distribution in the best case scenario, if everything goes as planned.

The interim mayor mentioned that although it is true that the supply is being maintained with low pressure, there is a risk that in case of the breakdown becoming more severe, the Miradero plant will have to be completely stopped and the situation will worsen as it is repaired.

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