MD says this will restore running water to Central Monrovia
Hun Bu-Tulay, Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) managing director, said to restore active running water to the City of Monrovia, the entity has appealed for US$56 million to replace the damaged 36-inch, 21-kilometer transmission line at the Water Treatment Plant in White Plains, outside Monrovia.
On a recent guided tour of the facilities with a team of journalists, Mr. Tulay said the lifespan design of the pipeline is ‘completely finished’ and as a result, residents will always face shortages of water supply, “because pressure from the pump has become weak.”
He said the pipeline failed on the underside where the reinforcing rods had failed and the rebar has also resulted in steel plates. Tulay said that the failures resulted from the pipe’s internal pressure to the extent that no work was done on them when they occurred recently.
“We have determined that the failed section can be repaired and the repair work is now in progress. The work should be completed soon,” Tulay assured the public. However, he informed the public that the section of the pipeline that was damaged has been repaired and is pumping water to parts of Monrovia. He said to supply the entire city, the entity needs to replace the entire pipeline transmission.
In one of his briefings to the Board and the Cabinet, Tulay informed them that the pre-stress concrete pipe portion of the transmission pipeline from White Plains to White Flower had outlived its lifespan of 50 years, as it was constructed in 1966.
“As far back as 1985, the entity was advised to replace the two transmission mains—the 16 inches routed through Bushrod Island and the 36 inches routed through Johnsonville and Paynesville, because the lines were old and nearing the end of their designed life.
“The two transmission lines do not have sufficient capacity to supply the city’s water demand from White Plains,” adding: “On Friday, July 14, at about 3:30 a.m. the 36 inches pipelines that traverse through Johnsonville, Paynesville, Congo Town and Sinkor to Monrovia lost pressure. Most of what the pipe transverses is in the swamp, which has been a challenge, and the constant failure, because when you are pumping, and there is a power failure, there is usually a back pressure (surge pressure) and that sub pressure is three times of what you are pumping with.
“If you are pumping with 90 PSI and abruptly the power goes off and then the back pressure is 270 PSI, that exceeds the design pressure of the pipe. It was designed for 150 PSI under normal condition, but…it can no longer stand the pressure.”
During his media interactions, it was discovered that the section of the pipeline that failed, but was repaired in July 2016, had become faulty again, for the second time.