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Heavy rainfall brings water shortage

Tuesday May 05, 2015 Written by Published in Health
This image shows the stream overfl owing the Matavera dam wall due to the infl ux of heavy rain. This image shows the stream overfl owing the Matavera dam wall due to the infl ux of heavy rain.

Residents around the eastern side of the island are without water today after heavy rainfall caused blockages to several water intakes. 

Infrastructure Cook Islands carried out temporary repairs over the weekend but say more blockages are likely to be caused by more heavy rain which fell yesterday afternoon. 

The areas most affected are inland areas along the back road of Tupapa and Matavera and also coastal areas along Nikao main road. 

ICI says these areas will be left with little or no water while repairs are being completed.

ICI acting director Paul Maoate says water works staff have been visiting each of the affected water intakes to make repairs, replace damaged components and flush out blocked filtration chambers.

With the influx of heavy rain yesterday, staff were forced to work overtime to resolve even more blockages and issues with drainage around Takuvaine and Avatiu.

Maoate says residents will have no water while repairs are being carried out. And once they are completed, residents along the inland slopes of Matavera and Tupapa will have to wait for pipes to fill and pressure to build up before they can access water again. 

“Residents will also experience blocked water filters due to the high sediment load caused during the stream flooding.”

He is urging residents to be patient while the system is being fixed, and to check and clean water filters.

“We also encourage people to use rainwater tanks for drinking water and to report if they see any burst pipes, along the main roads especially.”

A team of four water works staff are continuously inspecting and repairing all water intakes to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but with the possibility of still more rain, Maoate says the process could take longer than anticipated. 

“If the heavy rain does continue, waterworks staff will continue to inspect each water intake daily and will carry out work as required to ensure some water flow is maintained in the supply main.” 

A Cook Islands Meteorological Service spokesman said similar weather conditions would continue for at least the next two days.