Two of the three main pipelines supplying water to the city ran dry from Friday afternoon after pump sets at the Aluva water treatment plant were laid low due to a cable fault in the KSEB power line.
Water supply to entire Kochi was disrupted as the power failure affected the functioning of the Perumanoor pumphouse, which supplies water to West Kochi, and the Thammanam pump house that provides water to the rest of Kochi.
As the line was prone to power disruption, the fault was detected after more than an hour, said a KWA official.
The KSEB is now trying to restore power to the two low tension lines that power the pump sets at the treatment plant to draw water from the Periyar river.
Of the three main pipelines — 36, 42 and 48 inches in diameter— only water supply in the 48 inch pipeline remains uninterrupted. As power is now being supplied to the pumps through feeder lines in Aluva, the treatment plant is able to supply only 78 million litres of water.
KWA officials at Aluva water works told The Hindu that the KSEB power line was expected to be restored by Friday night.
The affected areas include Vyttila, Vennala, Petta, Janatha, Giri Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Panampilly Nagar. Municipalities such as Thrikkakara, Kalamassery, Eloor, Maradu, and panchayats including those in Vypeen Island have been affected.
Interconnection work on large 1,200-mm pipelines at Kathrikadavu, to improve water supply to West Kochi, is expected to provide additional 4 million litres (mld) a day besides the 5 mld that have been provided so far.
Meanwhile, residents of Thrikkakara protesting against irregular water supply gheraoed officials at the water supply office in Kalamassery.
M.J. Dikson, area councillor, who led the agitation, said most areas in Thrikkakara regularly got meagre supply of water. “Athani and Thengode are among the areas worst affected. Water is supplied only once in 15 to 20 days,” he said.
He alleged that valves of the pipelines were only partially opened to avoid pipe burst. No step had been taken to replace old pipelines even after the work was sanctioned long ago, Mr. Dikson said.
The KWA official at the Kalamassery sub-division admitted that water supply was often affected because of constant power disruptions.
With the municipality now providing a generator, water can be continuously pumped, he said. The Kalamassery pump house provides about 5.4 mld each to Kalamassery and Thrikkakara municipalities.