WASCO says sorry for yellowish water

WASCO says sorry for yellowish water

MASERU – THE Water and Sewerage Company (WASCO) has apologized to consumers over the quality of water available on their taps.
For the past three weeks, residents of Maseru have resorted to buying bottled water because their taps churned out undrinkable water with a yellowish colour and a foul smell.

The affected areas are Maseru, Roma, Teya-Teyaneng and Morija.
The residents said their water turned yellow since the beginning of February.
The WASCO management told a press conference on Monday that water supplied from Metolong Dam, which is piped to these areas, was discoloured about three weeks ago. They said this was because there is too much manganese in the water.

WASCO Acting Chief Executive ’Mamojela Koneshe said manganese is one of the most abundant naturally occurring minerals in the earth’s crust.
She said studies conducted before the construction of the Metolong Dam had revealed that it had high levels of manganese.
“Thus the provision was made at the design stage to allow for the plant to treat manganese through aeration, and dosing of potassium permanganate to this effect,” Koneshe said.

Koneshe said WASCO is doing all it can to overcome the problem.
She said the changes in the colour of water are due to different levels of manganese within the dam.
She said due to recent high temperatures the dam stratification became severe resulting in elevated manganese in raw water
Koneshe said this situation was aggravated by the recent river inflows which agitated the dam water.
She said this resulted in high levels of manganese.

“There have also been challenges regarding faulty automation of some dosing system resulting in treatment ineffectiveness,” she said.
WASCO Manager for Operations and Maintenance, ’Mamathe Makhaola, said the company regrets this recent delivery of unacceptable water.
Makhaola said the WASCO management was committed to supply safe portable water to the public.

Makhaola however said the high levels of manganese in the water did not pose any health risks to people.
She however said the water was not good for light coloured clothes because it changed their colour.
“No one would love that kind of water,” she said.

Makhaola said even though the water was not harmful to people’s lives, it had a bad smell and did not taste good.
She said they are aware of this problem because they also use the same water as the rest of the consumers.
Makhaola said WASCO is committed to restoring the quality of the water to the right levels.

She said they had since intensified the monitoring of the mineral content in the water and identified processes to optimise its treatment.
“Subsequent to this, water that meets quality specifications is currently being produced at Metolong Water Plant,” she said.
Makhaola said WASCO has already started flushing the supply system at strategic points in Maseru to remove the yellow water and expedite the delivery of clean portable water.

’Makhotso Rakotsoane

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