July 12, 2008 — The V.I. Water and Power Authority began water conservation schedules Friday on St. Thomas and St. Croix that will continue until water reserves are replenished.
According to Gregory Rhymer, chief operating officer, limited steam generating in the Randolph E. Harley Power Plant this week reduced water production and led to the measures.
On St. Croix, several desalination units have been off line for emergency repairs and while they will return to service this evening, water storage levels are quite low, Rhymer said.
On St. Thomas until further notice, public housing communities will have water service daily from 5 to 9 a.m. and from 5 to 9 p.m. only. The conservation schedule will begin Saturday at 9 a.m. Service to public schools and government offices will be discontinued over the weekend but will have water service restored during normal working hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, after which service will be curtailed to these agencies until the following morning.
On St. Croix, customers will experience water service interruption daily from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. WAPA will conserve water by cutting off its pumping capacity during these hours and by closing strategic control valves in the distribution system.
Consumers at higher elevations may be the first to notice the effects of the water outage.
The St. Croix water standpipe will continue a limited schedule of operation from 8 a.m. to noon, Mondays through Saturdays.
Consumers were urged to conserve water and switch to cisterns or wells, if available. The utility suggested that residents keep showers short with pressure at low force, turn off faucets while brushing teeth or shaving, when washing dishes fill, wash and rinse basins with water to avoid continuously running water, recycle rinse water to water plants, immediately repair leaks and drips, avoid extra cycles in the dishwasher, match the water level to the load size in washing machines and only do full loads.
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