The National Water Commission (NWC) is reporting that the Yallahs pipeline in St. Thomas is back in full operation.
The pipeline, which takes water from the Yallahs and negro Rivers to the Mona dam, suffered severe damage during the passage of Hurricane Sandy last October, and has been undergoing extensive repair and reinforcement works since November.
Most of the work on the $75-million project has been completed and the NWC was able to put the 19-mile supply line back into operation on December 19, 2012. The Mona dam is now at 100 per cent capacity.
The repair works, being carried out by Kier Construction Limited, includes building an access to the Yallahs river bed; dismantling the damaged supporting bridge structure and removing the destroyed pipes; design and undertaking of structural engineering replacement works; replacement of pipes and fittings; design, fabrication and installation of new support trusses for the pipeline; slope protection works; and river training to further protect the new infrastructure.
Vice-President for Engineering and Project Delivery at the NWC, Garth Jackson, said the entire project should be completed next month.
"Now, we're just doing the finishing touches and the permanent protective work. We expect to be finished by mid-February and then look at some small-scale work that needs to be done along the pipeline, little remedial works here and there, so that we can guarantee the integrity of the line," Jackson reported, following a tour of the pipeline in Ramble last week.
The pipeline was out of service for nearly eight weeks while the repair work was carried out.
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill expressed pleasure at the progress of the works.
He noted that the Yallahs pipeline is a major supply line and "the fact that it was resuscitated in the stipulated time and within budget is heartening, and right now the Mona dam is full".
Despite the full resumption of supply to Mona, Director of Communications at the NWC Charles Buchanan is reminding persons served by the system to continue to conserve on water as the country is still within the dry period.
"One needs to bear in mind that the NWC operates some 460 different water supply systems across the country and while the Yallahs pipeline is a critical piece of the infrastructure, we continue to experience some drought conditions, and so we will continue to implement water management measures on those systems that continue to be affected by drought conditions," he stated.
The Yallahs pipeline was commissioned into service in February 1986 with an initial carrying capacity of 16.4 million imperial gallons per day.