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Rain disrupts water services

Tuesday March 27, 2018 Written by Published in Environment
A lack of water was the issue when the Avatiu intake’s water level recorder was pictured measuring the low volume of water running down from the valleys in August last year. Now, heavy rain means the intake will have to be closed for half a day so sediment can be removed. 17082422 A lack of water was the issue when the Avatiu intake’s water level recorder was pictured measuring the low volume of water running down from the valleys in August last year. Now, heavy rain means the intake will have to be closed for half a day so sediment can be removed. 17082422

Days of heavy rain on Rarotonga have led to 10 out of the 12 water intakes around the island being blocked by debris, says the Water, Waste, and Sanitation Unit of the Ministry of Infrastructure Cook Islands (WATSAN).

 

Yesterday morning WATSAN confirmed that the Turangi and Avana intakes were the only sites not affected. They also said the intake at Papua had snapped and that it would take a day to repair. WATSAN said that the Avatiu intake would have to be closed off for at least half a day, to allow for the removal of excess sediment.

Director of WATSAN Jaime Short told CINews that the high amount of rainfall had caused mud and other debris to wash down from the mountains, blocking the intakes.

Short said residents on the south side of the island would be the most affected, with reduced water pressure. However, water was still running and that there were no restrictions currently in place. Short estimated that it would take “a few days” for all sites to return to full capacity.

Patrons at the Islander Hotel were treated to a spectacular show on Sunday night, watching an impressive waterspout out to sea that lasted for several minutes.

Spells of heavy rain and thunderstorms have been hitting Rarotonga for the last week and the wet weather is expected to continue well into April.