Trinidad residents struggle as Point Lisas closes for maintenance

Trinidad’s water supplies will be placed under stress after the water and sewerage authority temporarily shuts down the Point Lisas desalination plant for maintenance creating a 10% shortfall in output.

A spokesman for the authority warned the planned ten day shutdown would have a significant impact on the Water and Sewerage Authority’s (WASA’s) water supply position in Trinidad.

The spokesman said the authority had put a water supply management plan in place to minimize the impact on customers. But reports in the local press indicated significant concern among businesses in south Trinidad and the 40,000 households affected.

The 968 Ml/d plant owned and operated by the Desalination Company of Trinidad and Tobago DESALCOTT supplies 160 Ml/d to the Point Lisas Industrial Estate and augments supplies to central and south Trinidad.

WASA’s director of operations Steve Joseph said the dry rainy season had depleted the authority’s average water stock by at least 30%.

Desalcott’s operations manager, Steve Thompson, said the annual maintenance shutdown was supposed to have been done in July but through an agreement with WASA it was rescheduled to this month because “the rainy season hasn’t been as intense as normal.”

Among the contingencies being used, Joseph said, was increased production at the Caroni Water Treatment Plant and Navet Waterworks to full capacity. The Point Fortin desalination plant too will be used to stem the shortfall.