The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) warns that an influx of algae in raw water sources is likely to affect water supply in the future, due to the added stress it places on the water treatment process.
WAF CEO, Barry Omundson said that the increase in algae growth is being caused by the current climate conditions and if it persists, will result in low water levels in the reservoirs.
“This increase in algae growth, or algal bloom, is triggered by the dry, humid days and cold nights that we are currently experiencing,” said Mr Omundson.
“Our National Water Quality Laboratory has been carrying out tests on raw water samples which has confirmed the presence of microscopic algae, like Synedra and Diatoms, in our raw water.”
Mr Omundson said that the water is perfectly safe for drinking after treatment, but the algae prolongs the treatment process.
“These species enter the water treatment plants affecting treatment process efficiency, by clogging the filters, which decreases the volume of water produced by plants and, in turn, affects reservoir levels and supply to our customers.”
WAF teams have already activated various approaches to counter the impact of increased algae levels, which is keeping the treatment process under control for the time being.
“However, it is important to bear in mind that we will continue to encounter these algae issues if the current dry, humid days and cold nights persist, placing extended pressure on our already finely balanced water supply systems.”
WAF advises all customers to always store at least 2 to 3 days’ worth of water, during normal supply, to be prepared for any disruptions that may arise, due to natural disasters or other emergencies.
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