On the morning of November fourth, residents along the banks of the Mopan and Macal rivers were alerted of flash flooding in the vicinity of those two waterways in the Cayo District. What they were not prepared for was the interruption of water supply from BWS that came as a consequence of the sudden overflow. According to Operations Manager Dave Pascascio, the company’s water sources along both rivers were contaminated by flood water and a decision was made to abruptly cut off the supply of water to Benque Viejo, San Ignacio and Santa Elena. That break in distribution lasted several hours as Belize Water Services Ltd. worked diligently to address the issue. While water has been restored for majority of the customers in the twin towns, as well as Esperanza Village, customers in the higher elevation may still experience water shortage and low pressure.
Dave Pascascio, Operations Manager, BWS
“We woke up on Monday, I think, November fourth to an advisory of flashflood warning. So we went into monitoring phase and then shortly after realized that one of our sources in Benque was inundated with flood water and all our source wells in San Ignacio were affected by the flood too. So we looked inside our reservoirs, we did an inspection there and both reservoirs received the contaminated water, so we shut those down because we cannot knowingly distribute water that does not meet drinking water standards. We then went into recovery mode and started emptying the water into the reservoirs. We couldn’t get down into the wells in San Ignacio because of the height of the flood water so we had to look at that a little later in the day. But in looking at Benque we realized it was the spring which was the source across the river, right on the river bank. We were getting clean water, good water from the wells which was far away from the river, but because the reservoir was contaminated we had to shut those down. And so we flushed out the reservoir, cut off the spring and resorted to going back to only the well source. So those with two wells we filled back the reservoir and ensure that we have good disinfection level in it and so we started to distribute in Benque the same day on Monday, sometime in the evening.”