Trinidad and Tobago
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Gonzales wants Desalcott shutdown rescheduled

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Clint Chan Tack Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales. -
Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales. -

PUBLIC Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales has asked the Desalination Company of TT (Desalcott) to reschedule a shutdown of its Point Lisas plant for routine maintenance on December 3.

He made the request in light of the disruption in regular water supplies in different areas of the country as a result of adverse weather conditions over the weekend.

The Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) subsequently confirmed on Monday that the shutdown has been put on hold until further notice.

The ministry issued a statement on Sunday saying Gonzales acknowledged the company's plans for planned shutdown of the plant from November 27-December 3, for routine maintenance.

But he said such a shutdown is not advisable at this time "given the adverse weather conditions impacting so many of the communities throughout the nation and particularly in Central and South Trinidad,

While WASA and Desalcott would have negotiated this planned shutdown some time ago, Gonzales said it should be "immediately halted in the interest of those citizens who are still under floodwaters and engaged in clean-up operations."

He said a shutdown of the plant now woud only negatively affect people, especially with a number of surface water treatment facilities being out of operation "because of turbid river conditions and widespread ruptures of transmission and distribution pipelines thereby impeding WASA’s ability to satisfy the needs of its customers during this trying period."

Desacott's plant produces approximately 40 million imperial gallons of water a day. The plant supplies water to domestic customers in Central and South Trinidad as well as to the Point Lisas Industrial Estate.

The ministry said WASA is doing its part to restore plants affected by the adverse weather, especially in north and east Trinidad, and in Tobago.

Gonzales has instructed WASA's chairman to hold immediate discussions with the owners and management of Desalcott "to reschedule its planned maintenance at an appropriate time in the interest of the national community."