NORMAL water supply to Lae residents is expected to be restored by tomorrow if all goes well, the PNG Waterboard (PNGWB) has assured.
PNG Waterboard said the first of three new motors arrived in Lae from Australia on Saturday.
It was airfreight to Lae on an Air Niugini Dash 8 where it was then taken to the Taraka Treatment Plant.
PNGWB with assistance from the Independent Public Business Corporation (IPBC), Air Niugini and global forwarding agencies have been working closely together to get the motors to Lae at the earliest opportunity.
Acting managing director Amo Mark, while apologising to consumers in Lae, including Government institutions, schools and business houses, said the water crisis was caused by having only two working bores out of five.
The two operational pumps are currently producing 16.6 million litres per day (ML/D) which is inadequate to meet the city’s average demand of 16 ML/D and peak demand of 20 ML/D.
“PNGWB appeals to all consumers in Lae to conserve water, allowing everyone to have access to some water.
“Please use water wisely so that there is some for all instead of all for some,” Mr Mark said.
PNGWB assured its consumers that it produces and distributes treated and safe water and monitors it daily in the distribution system.
However, it said due to water rationing, consumers must boil water for consumption until the service returns to normal.
It also advised residents to boil water collected from other sources before consumption.
The main cause of water supply outages in Lae is due to a culmination of various factors that include continuous pump/motor failures due to poor power supply, encrustation of bore screens and siltation, poor management of storage reservoirs and high turnover of skilled manpower, partly caused by demand for engineers and technical officers in the resources sector.
Last December, the board of PNGWB approved a massive K10 million for urgent remedial and upgrade of the Lae water system for 2010.
Work in progress in Lae includes:
* Major bore flushing/cleaning;
* Re-establishment of reservoirs;
* Improve standby power capacity;
* Dedicated line to WB plants by PPL;
* Major electrical and maintenance plant upgrade/replacement;
* Human resources issues; and
* Zone metering.