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AquaGib water plant returns to full production

The Governor’s Cottage Reverse Osmosis Plant is back to full production and producing water
at 100% capacity, the Gibraltar Government said on Friday.

This follows water shortage caused by a fire in Powers Drive Tunnel last week, which has seen
senior officials hold Strategic Coordination meetings daily to assess the situation.

The Government confirmed water is being produced at 100% capacity following the successful
activation of the remaining fourth plant on Thursday night, and work continues to replenish
stocks at the earliest opportunity.

“This is welcome news,” the spokesman added.

“However, AquaGib’s advice remains that there is a need for members of the public to be
conservative with their water consumption, and restrictions on supply will continue in place
over the weekend and be reviewed again on Monday.”

“AquaGib will continue to support consumers and deploy bowsers across Gibraltar over the
weekend in the areas where there is most need for them.”

“The technical experts at AquaGib have advised that there will continue to be fluctuations to
pressure for some time until stock levels increase to the minimum required levels.”

“For this reason night restrictions will continue, with a slight change of times for Friday and Saturday night from 12:30am to 8am.”

“This is to alleviate the catering industry and their operations over the weekend.”

In a statement AquaGib said it finalised the works required to bring the 4th reverse osmosis
unit at the Governors Cottage site online following the fire at Powers Drive Tunnel.
“This means we are back to 100% production capability, enabling us to build stock levels at the Waterworks reservoirs,” AquaGib said.

“Over the period since the fire began, and as our stock levels reduced, large parts of the
network were affected with pressure fluctuations and lack of supply.”

“Such is the nature of our gravity-fed system, as stock levels have begun to rise over recent
days, these pressure fluctuations and lack of supply are now beginning to reduce.”

AquaGib added numerous works have been undertaken by staff to react to any reports of
pressure fluctuations, and as of Friday all customers should have supply from their taps.

“At this point, customers should be aware that pressure fluctuations may still continue and that
this will be normal for some time,” AquaGib said.

AquaGib added: “It is also important to appreciate that the effects of low stock levels/pressure fluctuations will improve at a faster rate if people do their utmost to reduce their water usage.

Please consider this every time that you turn on the tap and be responsible with the use of
water wherever possible.”

AquaGib also thanked the public for their understanding during this difficult period, and asked customers if they are experiencing no supply, other than during the overnight restrictions, to contact them on the 24-hour fault report number, 20073659, so the issue can be addressed as soon as possible.


AquaGib said there have been a number of concerned raised by customers over water quality.
On the subject of any excessive taste of chlorine experienced by customers, AquaGib said it has
taken the decision to increase the chlorine dosing of their system at this time to mitigate
against any risks of poor water quality.

“This means that customers may notice an increased chlorine smell or taste issues with our water compared to before the fire,” AquaGib said.

“This is to be expected but AquaGib would like to reassure our customers that chlorine levels within the water remain fit for human consumption. This measure will be reviewed as stock levels return to normal and AquaGib will return to previous dosing levels in due course.”

Regarding any discolouration of the water experienced by customers, AquaGib said this is due to sediment that exists within the water network.

“AquaGib performs regular flushing of the network, a process which involves releasing an amount of water at flush out points on the network which reduces the amount of discolouration experienced by customers,” AquaGib said.

“Any discolouration can be resolved by running the tap for a short period and does not present a
concern for water quality. When running your taps, please remember that at this point we urge
customers to conserve water and use as little as possible, so please only do this for short periods."

The Gibraltar Government on Thursday said the testing regime put in place detected a
bacteriological failure in one of the trucks from Spain.

“As part of the process the relevant authorities were informed and AquaGib has liaised extensively
with the Department of Public Health Gibraltar, the Ministry of Environment and the Environmental
Agency Gibraltar,” AquaGib said.

AquaGib said it performs daily samples taken from the receiving tank and has also taken samples
from the service reservoirs at Waterworks, and these have indicated no bacteria showing in our

“The Environmental Agency routinely carries out check samples of the potable water system
throughout the year to verify that the potable water supply meets the parameters stipulated in
legislation,” Christopher Segovia, Chief Environmental Health Officer said.

“Since being notified of a bacterial test failure in one of the trucks importing water from Spain and despite this event being classed as low risk, the Environmental Agency has taken further potable water check samples across the relevant sectors of the distribution network.”

Dr Helen Carter, Director of Public Health Gibraltar said she has been working closely with both AquaGib and the Environmental Agency and is assured that the water is safe to drink in Gibraltar.

“The potentially low risk of contamination of the truck water was anticipated and planned for in
advance through increasing chlorine levels in the water,” Dr Carter said.

“Reservoir testing and all tap water testing to date has been clear. I am assured that monitoring will continue as part of the usual testing arrangements.”

AquaGib added it continues to monitor and ensure that the quality of water delivered to the tap for the customer meets the usual high standards that exist in Gibraltar.

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