Solomon Water was again forced to turn off its Kongulai Pump Station late last week. The shutdown was due to the high turbidity (silt and dirt particles in the water) experienced upstream at Kongulai water source following rain.

The pump station supplies about 40% of its customers in Honiara causing many Honiara residences to be without water for more than 48 hours. Solomon Water Chief Executive Officer Mr Ian Gooden said the action was necessary to ensure that quality and safe water is distributed to the customers.

“The reason for the shutdown during wet weather is we have to wait until water is safe for distribution. If we kept on producing water the disinfection process cannot kill any bacteria in the water, making it potentially unsafe and pose health risk to customers. It will also clog the pipes and customers facilities.

Ian Gooden added “the key underlying cause of increase high turbidity are the illegal or unmanaged logging activities upstream in the Kongulai catchment water area. This is a big challenge for us as we are a victim of these activities, but we have a responsibility to provide safe and healthy water to our customers."

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Forestry said “that the logging upstream has now been stopped and we are working with Solomon Water and other key stakeholders to manage the situation. It will take a while for the area to recover from the effects of logging, but we are doing all we can to assist Solomon Water.

“The company has been informed to do rehabilitation of buffer zones and make proper drainage and turnouts to the buffer and not directly to the river/stream before moving out of the concerned area within the Kongulai catchment area.”

Source: Solomon Water