Prasa initiates rationing plan for Carraízo reservoir
Some 140,000 customers in metro area to receive service only every other day starting Thursday
SAN JUAN — The executive president of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (Prasa), Doriel Pagán Crespo, announced Monday the start of “scheduled interruptions” for 140,000 customers who receive their service from the Sergio Cuevas filtration plant, which is supplied by the Carraízo reservoir.
The scheduled rationing plan will begin Thursday, July 2.
“Due to the lack of precipitation, the levels of the Carraízo reservoir have dropped considerably. This has caused the Sergio Cuevas filtration plant to not receive enough water…to cover the production necessary and supply all its customers,” Pagán said in a press release, adding that, “as a preventive measure to manage the water shortage of the reservoir, we will begin the period of programmed interruptions for the sectors that are supplied by Carraízo, the reservoir that supplies the largest population in the metropolitan area. We reiterate the call to make prudent use of water and we urge you to moderate your consumption.”
The rationing plan consists of suspending service in 24-hour periods every other day starting at 9 a.m.
The affected customers have been divided into two zones, A and B, which will be alternating their periods of suspension and restoration of service every 24 hours. The areas that will be affected in this first phase will be parts of San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Canóvanas and Carolina.
The release says Pagán has already “informed the mayors of the establishment of oases to supply water to their constituents by tank trucks, through coordination with their respective municipal emergency management offices.”
Pagán was quoted as saying that the public utility is “aware of the need for water resources in the face of the pandemic situation caused by COVID-19, so it is important to continue with health measures so that families continue to be protected.”
Prasa’s announcement also quotes its Metropolitan Region director, Roberto W. Martínez Toledo, as saying that “it is important to urge the citizenry about the prudent use of water during the…reestablishment of the service while the distribution system is filled,” and reminding customers that low-lying areas will have service re-established first.
The utility recommends boiling the water for 3 minutes before consumption, “given the possibility of turbidity when service is restored.”
If there is “high consumption in the days prior to the start of the interruption plan, residents of the Venezuela sector of the municipality of San Juan could experience” low water pressure or even interrupted service. “As a mitigation measure, the provision of a water truck was coordinated with the Municipal Emergency Management Office for customers in that sector.”
“More than 26% of the island is experiencing a severe drought and another 60% is under a moderate drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Water rationing measures affecting more than 16,000 clients were imposed earlier this month in some communities in the island’s northeast region,” the Associated Press reported.
For more information and to find the closest oases, visit www.acueductospr.com or follow the utility on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram: @acueductospr. Customers may also contact customer service from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., at 787-620-2482 and 1-877-411-2482 for residents outside the metro area or 787-751-8125 for people who are hard of hearing.