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Water supply disrupted as KWA pipeline bursts near Kummi

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EMERGENCY: Workers repairing the KWA pipeline that developed cracks on Thursday. Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar
EMERGENCY: Workers repairing the KWA pipeline that developed cracks on Thursday. Photo: C. Ratheesh Kumar

Staff Reporter

Normal supply to be restored by this evening

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The supply of drinking water from Aruvikkara to the Kerala Water Authority's (KWA) reservoirs at the Observatory Hill and Thirumala was disrupted on Thursday following a crack in a 1200 mm concrete water pipeline at the Kummi-Irumba road.

The crack was detected at 2.30 p.m. and pumping from Aruvikkara was stopped shortly after 4 p.m. on Thursday. Past midnight, while the damaged section was being removed, KWA engineers discovered that the section of the pipeline adjacent to the damaged one had also developed a crack.

According to KWA Executive Engineer (Aruvikkara) V. Chandran normal supply of water in the line will be restored, in all likelihood, by Friday evening.

The areas affected by the disruption include parts of Sasthamangalam, Vellayambalam, Kowdiar, Thycaud, Vazhuthacaud, Palayam, Statue, Pulimoodu, Ayurveda College, Kunnumpuram and East Fort.

Water supply to Thirumala, Poojappura, Vattiyoorkavu and other areas serviced by the Thirumala reservoir will be partially disrupted.

According to KWA officials the crack was detected when workers were preparing to fill the trench dug on Friday last to repair a leak in the same line.

This pipeline, commissioned in 1999 during the interim augmentation scheme designed to bring more water from Aruvikkara to the city, ferries water from the 82 mld (million litres a day) treatment plant there.

Mr. Chandran told The Hindu that infinitesimal cracks that occur at the manufacturing end gets amplified when water is pumped at a pressure of about 3.8 kg per square centimetre as is done on this line. Once a parallel `pumping main' is laid to the city under the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) scheme the KWA plans to strengthen this 1200 mm concrete line by inlaying MS pipes, he added.

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