The Water Authority of Fiji (WAF) encourages members of the public to begin their preparations early with regard to securing their water supply, in anticipation of the upcoming cyclone season, instead of waiting until the last minute.
WAF Board Chairman, Bhavesh Kumar, said that in the past few instances, Fiji has seen very powerful cyclones that have left a significant amount of damage to both the country and WAF infrastructure.
“With this in mind, we cannot risk being complacent and thinking that it won’t happen to us again,” said Mr Kumar.
“We have about a month to go until we reach the cyclone season and I urge everyone to think about how they intend to gain a secure form of water storage, now, before disaster strikes – we must be proactive and prepare.”
Mr Kumar reminded Fijians that during periods of adverse weather conditions, the water supply system and its production levels can be severely affected, which makes the meeting of customer demands difficult.
“The idea that there should not be water disruptions during heavy rainfall, under the assumption that there is a lot of available water, is a common one, but it is also incorrect. While there is a lot of water, consistent heavy rain for extended periods of time will eventually disrupt the production and supply of water.”
“This is because the rain may cause debris to wash down into our water intakes, causing blockages, which means that no water will come into our treatment plants, and our reservoirs will not be replenished – that is the ripple effect.”
“Additionally, heavy rain washes a significant amount of dirt into our raw water sources, increasing raw water turbidity, which affects the speed at which we are able to produce clean, drinkable water, as there are more particles to filter out.”
“Consequently, our water filters get clogged with particles of dirt, resulting in us having to backwash water to clean them out, and sometimes, the dirt builds up to the point where the water filters need to be taken offline completely for cleaning.”
Mr Kumar added that while WAF teams do work their hardest to carry out repair works on damaged infrastructure and restore water supply as soon as possible during times of disaster, they could face numerous difficulties in getting the task done quickly – depending on the severity of the situation.
“Our teams face many obstacles while out of the field during a natural disaster, roads get damaged or washed away, fallen trees get in the way of our movements, and often we need to wait before repairs can be conducted safely.”
“This is why we ask everyone to please prepare and prepare early.”
WAF advises customers to conserve and always store sufficient amounts of water to last for at least two to three days in their homes at all times. Customers are also encouraged to invest in storage containers or water tanks connected to the water system for storage and backup supply during any unplanned disruption that may arise due to emergency works or natural disasters.
For further enquiries, customers can call 3346777 and 5777 (all-mobile network users), email email@example.com or go to the WAF Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WaterAuthorityofFiji