Yesterday just after midday, approximately 12,000 households along the Northern Highway and in Belize City, which is the largest population centres in the country had no water for a little over 7 hours.
It wasn't a planned service interruption; early in the morning they discovered complete break in one of their 24 inch main pipes on the highway, which required them to dig 10 feet into the ground to repair it.
Today, the operations officer explained to us why they had no choice but to interrupt service after trying to ensure that those customers had water to use earlier that morning:
Dave Pascascio - Operations Manager BWS
"We woke up yesterday morning to a break in our main transmission line that supplies Belize City and so what we had to do was to manage the storage we had to last for the duration of the repairs, but cognizant of the fact that we were entering peak morning demand we did not reduce pressures until after peak until about 8am. The break happen shortly around 5am and we depleted a lot of our storage to go through the peak demand period because of the fact that people were preparing to go to work and go to school. Thereafter we reduced pressures to let our storage last until about 8pm in the night when it was restored."
"Currently we have about 100 million gallons storage in Belize City. That is only one third of Belize City's demand for the day, so we had to make one third of the demand last for 14 hours. It was only what in hydraulic terms you called a water hummer and it ruptured 9 feet of the main and so that is the major repair whenever you have to cut out a section because you have to totally empty the main so that you can get in and work."
BWS reports that they had full services restored at around 8 o'clock last night.