June 4, 2020
During this time of drought, we are unable to meet the demand for water. STUCO regrets that during this period, we have had to, again resort to rationing for the umpteenth time, but rest assured we have been working persistently to resolve the additional challenges we face in the chain of supply, in order to get water to your connection point.
Do note that presently, during this drought, the demand from the island for the STUCO drinking water exceeds 450m3 per day or 120.000 gallons per day; while STUCO’s present net delivery is about 360m3 or 95.000 gallons per day; considering this reality we have no choice but to ration our water in order for the system not to run dry.
As is known, we have had unexpected challenges with the leaking water lines that operate under high pressure, in the high pressure zone at the lower town, requiring immediate intervention and as such exacerbating the already stressed drinking water supply due to the drought.
STUCO has had to replace about 700 meters of the pipe on a very short notice, amidst also transporting water by this very pipeline from our water-plant, over 2km to our storage tank at Lodi.
We estimated that we would have had this most vulnerable section of the water-line replaced by the end of June, however, due to the remarkable input by our water-crew, we are looking at completing this job by June 14th; we have already reached to a period of calm in this section of the pipe-line, since by this weekend we expect to have completed the lower town, with only glass-gut remaining.
Stability is on the horizon as we are now getting to the point, where we are building the level of water in our storage tank; with this being the case, an assessment shall be made of the volume being used when the water supply is opened up, and a determination shall be made to expand the hours that water shall be available to you.
Initially we shall be looking at expanding the hours of availability from 6 to 8 hours per day, by adding one hour to each block in the morning as well as in the evening. After doing so, should this again show stability, and we are able to maintain the volume of water in our storage tank, we shall proceed to again increase the hours where water shall be made available to you.
In this light yesterday water was available to the public for 15 hours, an action we shall repeat again today June 9th for another 15 hours, while monitoring pending works yet to be completed on the main drinking water transport line.
During the crises, the hospital, senior citizens home and the low-income housing has been able to have water available to them continuously, all others have been rationed.
STUCO covers the entire island with the supply of electricity to our 1.850 clients, however, with last month’s billing only 39%, 723 clients had made use of our metered water connections, as well as some others by truck.
We recognize that a number of our customers do not have a cistern or adequate water storage at home; for this reason, we have decided to provide additional support for this group of customers, at no cost, to fill any storage they have on hand between the rationing hours during daytime.
Secondly, for those customers in Princess and upper Princess who at time have been left without water during rationing, we provide additional support with delivery of some water at no cost.
Thirdly, we advise not to fill-up the cisterns, however, should you have a cistern and it is empty, and you want water, you can proceed to only purchase a half load of water at our office as is normally the case; if we are unable to supply you, then we provide you the option to pick up water at no costs, while providing for your own transportation.
Also, should you be without water in your cistern and in dire need with no means to acquire water, being a customer of STUCO, we can evaluate your situation on a case by case basis and deliver you a free half load of water; all other cases would have to purchase a half load of water.
However, should water be available consistently to you during rationing, then we do not expect to have to use the option of delivery of water at no costs to you, in keeping with the non-discriminatory aspect of fairness to all our customers.
We wish to update you on the 3 key elements STUCO is presently executing in order to resolve the structural deficit with our water supply.
- Expansion of the drinking water production capacity; this project has been contracted in early April and is presently in execution and on schedule to be commissioned in October; in the month of August we expect the first arrival of our containers for the installation phase of this new 500m3 per day water-plant
- The new water transport-line will be installed with increased capacity, from a 4inch to a six inch pipe; the pipe shall also be of the heaviest strength available in HDPE/plastic pipe with the expectation to last beyond 20 years of service; the containers with all our pipe materials are expected to arrive in early August, and execution expected to commence around August 17th; completion October
- The drinking water storage capacity shall be expanded from 900m3 with a new tank with a capacity of 4000m3 or 1Million50thousand gallons
The containers with the materials for erection of the water-tank are expected to arrive at the end of August with a 6 weeks erection time; completion October We look forward to all 3 projects being completed in October as planned, with the expectation that we would not incur any delays, due to logistics or any developing situations around Covid-19; while certainly not looking forward to any delays as a consequence of the potential impact by a hurricane during this period, since we recognize that our execution of all these projects shall take place during the heart of the hurricane season.