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Water restrictions likely for two days as work underway on new pipe to AquaGib plant

Photo by Johnny Bugeja

Work was underway last night to lay new pipes to allow AquaGib’s reverse osmosis plant on the east side of the Rock to resume production of potable water.

A section of pipe that runs through Power’s Drive Tunnel was damaged by a rockfall caused by a fire that has burned there since Tuesday but is now under control.

Dr Joseph Garcia, the acting Chief Minister, said the hope is the new pipe will be ready within two days, down from an initial five-day estimate on Thursday.

Until then, the plan is to maintain water conservation measures in place including cutting off supply across Gibraltar overnight, he told the Chronicle early Friday morning.

Officials are due to meet at 9.30am on Friday to review the situation and determine any further steps. A statement is expected after that meeting.

Water was cut off across Gibraltar on Thursday night except for key sites such as the hospital.

The supply of water resumed at 7am this morning although supply was patchy at times.

But some areas, including in the south district and the upper town, have been without water since mid-afternoon on Thursday with no change in sight.

Those areas are supplied through water pressure built up via gravity. With no water being pumped into the system from the east side plant, there is not enough in the reservoirs to create the necessary pressure.

AquaGib has placed bowsers in different locations around Gibraltar including Naval Hospital Road, Moorish Castle Estate and Alameda Estate.

Arrangements have also been made to import water from Spain to top up AquaGib’s reservoirs, which may help with water pressure in some areas, and AquaGib’s plant in the North Mole area remains fully operational.

But Dr Garcia said that until the pipe on the east side was repaired, some areas would likely remain without supply due to the problems with gravitational water pressure.

A helpline has been set up for elderly or vulnerable people who need help. The number to call is 200 73659.

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