Not many residents in southern parts of the city were aware that the drinking water supplied to them for the past few days was from the Nemmeli desalination plant.

Earlier this week, Chennai Metrowater started distributing desalinated water from the city’s second facility set up to treat sea water. While some residents were surprised at the improved water supply, some in Besant Nagar said they had received muddy water.

Some residents in Okkiam Thoraipakkam and Thiruvanmiyur, however, were informed they would be supplied with water from a new source in April.

Not many could tell the difference between the water sourced from an aquifer or reservoirs for supply and the desalinated water given directly to them for drinking.

Jayanthi Premchandar of Fourth Seaward Road, Thiruvanmiyur, said she had been buying tanker water until recently. She is now enjoying an increase in piped water supply. However some residents such as Gopalan of Indira Nagar First Avenue said they had not received water supply for the past three days.

The city’s second desalination plant set up in Nemmeli along East Coast Road has a capacity to treat and supply 100 million litres of day (mld). Areas, including Thiruvanmiyur, Adyar, Besant Nagar, Velachery, Taramani, Pallipattu and parts of Karapakkam, Kottivakkam, Okkiam Thoraipakkam, Kannaigi Nagar and Kottivakkam, are now being supplied with the desalinated water. These localities were earlier provided water from Pallipattu distribution station.

A new head works has been constructed at Thiruvalluvar Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, to supply water brought through a 64.37-km-long pipeline from the plant. Initially, about 20-30 mld are being transmitted to various areas through pipeline. This would be stepped up in a phased manner by early April.

According to sources in the Metrowater, flushing of the pipeline is almost complete. “We are supplying water to areas in erstwhile local bodies that have piped network or hand pumps,” said an official.

The defective water supply to streets in Indira Nagar, Besant Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur has improved.

Residents of merged areas, including Perungudi, Sholinganallur, Kottivakkam and Okkiam Thoraipakkam, too would get to taste the desalinated water instead of water from borewells. Several other areas would be covered soon.

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