As the BVI braces for Tropical Dorian which is expected to start affecting the BVI on Tuesday, August 27, preparations are well underway at the Water & Sewerage Department for the eventuality of any weather system that may affect the territory.
“What we have been doing as of Sunday 25th August is preparing our reservoirs towards closing at the appropriate times when or if an impact should come,” Director of Water & Sewerage Pearline Scatliffe-Leonard told BVI News on Tuesday.
Since Sunday, the department has been limiting water supply in a number of areas across the territory between 8 pm to 4 am to ensure that the reservoirs are filled.
“In that way, we will be able to maintain our reservoirs close to capacity or at capacity because we don’t want a storm to come and meet us with an empty reservoir or meet us half-full,” Scatliffe-Leonard explained.
Team deployed to sister island
The Water & Sewerage boss said a team has been deployed to Jost Van Dyke to ensure the island’s reservoir is filled to capacity.
She said once the reservoir is filled, her department can focus on distributing and monitoring the distribution on that island.
She continued: “Once we are certain that we are 100 percent free of the storm or any storm that is coming, then we open fully to the public. But right now we are closing in the evenings on all major islands.”
She said despite the closing period, there will be about an hour’s worth of water in the pipeline for use.
Scatliffe-Leonard said while there is always the potential for broken service lines during any weather condition, her department is prepared for such an outcome.
“Those are lines we can fix within a few minutes and we have teams identified for each community. So lessons learned from 2017, we have ourselves set up so we can deploy persons to areas so we are well ahead of that game if that should happen,” she said.
Advice to residents
Ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian’s passing, Scatliffe-Leonard is urging residents to store water in covered containers.
“As soon as you hear that there is a storm with a potential of reaching us, start to store water because there is no notice from us when we will shut down,” she pointed out.
“We will continue to provide that service, but as soon as BVI Electricity Corporation shuts down, we shut down our plants because we rely on their power to produce water.”
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