Water plants prove worthy as dam level drops to 29%


03-July-2012

 Prof Payet and his delegation on their tour of the Ile Perseverance

The plants are thus giving assurance of continued supplies, Environment and Energy Minister Rolph Payet said yesterday after inspecting expansion of the desalination stations at Ile Perseverance and Providence.

He said although people tend to find the water slightly different from fresh water, blending of the desalinated water with ordinary water continues to be done.

He noted that the quality of the water is perfectly safe to drink and far surpasses World Health Organisation minimum requirements.

Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) technicians – some of them health officers specialised in water engineering – said the WHO allows up to 2,500 conductivity units per cubic centimetre, but Seychelles water only ranges between 500 and 700 units “which is quite good and a measure of the low level of salinity in it”.

Professor Payet said many of us may not have fully adapted to desalinated water – which the WHO says on its website “is increasingly being used to provide drinking water under conditions of freshwater scarcity which affects one in three people on every continent of the globe”.

Prof Payet and his delegation on their tour of the Providence desalination plants yesterday

The WHO says many countries in Asia, Europe and America rely to a large extent on desalination with millions of litres of water being obtained from the sea daily.

Prof Payet noted even soft drinks in many countries are made from desalinated water.
He said a lot of work to expand and renovate the plants is going on and asked that we appreciate the sometimes 24-hour efforts the PUC team is making.

He said there is shortage of Seychellois staff and called more young people to enroll for training in areas related to water production, treatment and distribution, sewage treatment and energy management.

The government is considering scholarships for training in those areas, he said.

PUC’s chief executive Philip Morin said the organisation will soon be able to supply a much higher percentage of the water required from the desalination plants as capacity is being added.

After he and Prof Payet drank water from the plants, when asked if there is need to boil water after it is delivered through pipes he said in most locations as far as he is aware there is no indication boiling is needed, but said if a person wants to boil the water he can do so.

Authorities have occasionally urged people to boil water especially when delivered through bowsers in case of contamination during transfer.

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