KWA expects total restoration of supply today

An early morning burst on a 400-mm primo pipe of the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) at Ambalamukku affected water supply to several areas in the city on Friday.

The burst, suspected to have occurred around 1 a.m. and noticed a couple of hours later after the road was flooded, left the road and a couple of shops nearby inundated apart from damaging a portion of the tarred road.

A KWA repair team began work before dawn. The work was expected to continue late into the night. Complete restoration of water supply would be possible by early saturday, KWA officials said.

KWA Superintending Engineer M. Krishnakumar said apart from the 400-mm primo distribution network pipe, a 75-mm asbestos pipe running close to it too had burst. Efforts in the morning were to find out whether the burst had affected the 900-mm pre-stressed concrete (PSC) transmission pipe carrying water from Aruvikkara to Manvila, which ran close to the other two pipes. That the 900-mm PSC pipe was intact was confirmed by noon. After this, the focus was on the other two. Alternative arrangements were made to ensure water to the affected areas, which included Ambalamukku, Sreekaryam, parts of the Technopark area, parts of the Medical College region, and a few areas in Manvila.

The 400-mm pipe, officials said, was suspected to have burst after having outlived its lifespan. However, whether there was a leak in the area, which could have been detected earlier and remedial action taken beforehand, was yet to be ascertained.

KWA Managing Director Ashok Kumar Singh said the pipe was among those in the city that the KWA was planning to replace with tenders already called for some of them. Efforts to prevent disruptions in water supply were already on, he said, pointing out that the frequency of pipe-bursts in the city had come down sharply, with Friday’s one being after a gap of more than a month.

C. Supran, Technical Member, KWA, said the pipe could be over 15 years old. A project to identify primo pipes and asbestos cement (AC) pipes that were laid long back and had outlived their purpose was on in different parts of the State. The frequency of bursts on these, vulnerability factors, condition etc would also be analysed and proposals to replace these would be prioritised based on the analysis. Thiruvananthapuram would be among areas that would be given priority, he added.