Local May 15, 2024 | 3:41 pm

Coraasan links 20% water production drop to turbidity post-rains

Santiago, DR.- The director of the Santiago Aqueduct and Sewer Corporation (Coraasan), Engineer Andrés Burgos, has disclosed that persistent high turbidity in the water sources has led to a 20 percent deficit in the production capacity of the treatment plants operated by the institution.

Burgos clarified that this deficit translates to approximately 30 million gallons per day (MGD) compared to the average monthly production, not considering the installed capacity.

Due to the elevated turbidity levels, some of the older systems, particularly those drawing directly from the Yaque del Norte River like the Las Charcas and La Barranquita aqueducts, have been inactive since the onset of heavy rains.

Despite a decrease in rainfall since April 21 in the upper basins of the Yaque del Norte and Bao rivers, the turbidity remains above 100 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit), which measures water clarity.

As a consequence, aqueducts such as La Canela, Cienfuegos, Villa González I and II, which rely on irrigation canals, are experiencing operational instability, operating below their installed production capacity.

Burgos explained that until turbidity levels decrease, caused partly by operations at the Tavera hydroelectric plant and sediment removal from the Bao dam, Coraasan will maintain reduced drinking water production.

He mentioned that the dam’s water level is currently at 325.10 meters above sea level, prompting the operation of turbine 104 cubic meters/second to lower it to the optimal level of 320 meters above sea level before the cyclone season begins on June 1, as stipulated by the Dam and Reservoir Operations Committee (COPRE) protocols.

Assuring continued monitoring of water quality, Burgos pledged to ensure that the water reaching households maintains its usual quality and quantity.

To address the situation, efforts have intensified to distribute water via tanker trucks, alongside increased dissemination of notices through social media and traditional communication channels.

Improved weather conditions are anticipated in the upcoming days according to forecasts.

During the press conference, notable attendees included Santiago’s governor, Rosa Santos; Edenorte’s general manager, Andrés Cueto; Coraasan Aqueducts director, Engineer Elwin Rodríguez; Rural Aqueducts director, Engineer Karina Durán; Commercial Director, Eddy Ortega; Operational Director, Jacqueline Cruz; Administrative Director, Maria Teresa León; and Director of Review and Analysis, Oscar García, among others.

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