By John McPhaul
Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) users served by the Carraízo and La Plata reservoirs must prepare to begin drinking water rationing in July, PRASA Executive President Doriel Pagán Crespo said Wednesday.
The engineer also remarked on how complicated it has been, due to the requested requirements, to start with the dredging of Carraízo.
“We are talking about several weeks that would allow us to reach the month of July,” Pagán Crespo said in response to questions from the press. “But it is something that both engineer Roberto Martínez, director of the Metropolitan Region, and engineer Enrique Rosario, director of the Eastern Region, have been continually telling the media. And we have been very proactive in delivering this information.”
The official did not specify when in July the rationing will begin.
“Because there is not a single factor, there are several,” she said. “Consumption, if it rains, the amount of rain, runoff, there are many factors that we have to see continuously. For now, we come to July. When we are closer to that date, we will update.”
As for the dredging, Pagán Crespo insisted that for the time being, the Carraízo reservoir project is on hold. She also listed the requirements that have been requested in order to start the work in the first quarter of 2023.
“This was one of the first five projects submitted to FEMA [Federal Emergency Management Agency] in January 2021. However, for FEMA to approve this project, they required an engineering report from us, which required surveying studies, [studies of] the dam, characterization of the sediments that are there in the reservoir,” she said. “All of that took a while. Permits are also required to do this dredging. We have been working on this without interruption in each of these processes or stages.”
The PRASA chief said bidding for the dredging works opens in July.
Meanwhile, Rosario Agosto, the director of PRASA’s Eastern Region, announced the reactivation of the plan of scheduled interruptions for subscribers who are supplied by the Juncos Urbano filtration plant. Rationing will start today for a period of eight hours, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. the following morning.
“We have maintained constant monitoring of our rivers,” Rosario Agosto said. “Last week we had a slight improvement in the intake of raw water from the Juncos Urbano filtration plant, also known as KTP90; however, recent days have been very dry, with no recorded precipitation, with high temperatures and the flow of this river reflects a substantial decrease that does not allow the plant to operate at its maximum capacity. It is necessary to reactivate the scheduled interruption plan for this Juncos system, which supplies areas of the municipalities of Juncos and two sectors in Las Piedras.”
Juncos residents who will have their service interrupted today are those in: Campiñas, Placita, Liborio Pérez, El Punto, Laderas de Juncos, Reparto Placita, Placita Parcelas, Campo Alegre, Colinas de Juncos, La Cuesta, Damasco, El Mangó, El Cabrito, Caimito Parcelas, Juncos ranches and the area of PR-31 in Juncos.
In Las Piedras, meanwhile, the residents of Quebrada Grande and Pueblito del Río will experience an interruption according to the stipulated schedule.