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Major water crisis avoided in Muscat

Some areas of the capital may not get water supply, particularly those on a higher level

Gulf News

Muscat: A quick fix of a gasket by the engineers of the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW) has avoided a water crisis in Muscat, according to Zahraan Al Rashidi, spokesman for the company on Wednesday.

“A mechanical problem [broken gasket] caused leakage at the main pumping station in the first desalination station at the Al Ghubra Desalination Plant on Tuesday but was fixed by the late evening,” the PAEW official said on Wednesday.

Earlier, the PAEW had feared that water supply to the suburbs of Muscat, Muttrah, Bausher and Amairat could be affected. “We had made all the contingency plans and tankers were ready to supply water,” he said.

He added that from previous experience they had learnt the lesson and fixed the problem quickly. “To fix a gasket we had to stop water supply at the pumping station,” he explained. To cover up for the closure of one pumping station, the second pumping station was run at its full capacity.

According to Al Rashidi the water supply had resumed at the first pump but would take time for pressure to come back to normal. “Some houses in Al Khuwair area may not get water supply, especially those at a higher level,” he said, adding that the department had kept tankers ready to supply to dwellings where water supply had not resumed.

The rest of Muscat is getting full water supply, he added.

Last December, a pipe had burst in Al Khuwair causing a major water crisis that lasted for more than 72 hours. “We have already awarded a tender for new pipes from Al Ghubra Desalination Plant to old Muscat area,” he revealed. The Al Ghubra desalination will be connected with Qurum area with 1.6 metre diameter pipes while from Qurum to Muscat 1.4m diameter pipes will be laid.

He also said that the PAEW was in the process of floating another tender for a new pumping station within the Al Ghubra Desalination Plant.