ASPA working hard to eliminate need for Boil Water notice
It’s been almost two years since American Samoa Power Authority sent out notices advising the public to boil tap water from Leloloa-to-Ili’ili, and now ASPA CEO, Utu Abe Malae says they are “trying” to lift the Boil Water notice.
In response to Samoa News queries, Utu said the area where they are currently trying to lift the Boil Water Notice is in the Leone to Poloa water distribution system.
“We do this by shutting down Well 80 (200 Gallons Per Minute) and expanding the capacity of Well 70 (from 300 to 400 GPM).” He explained that Well 80 is the well that is “GUDI” (influenced by surface water) and that is why it has to be shut down and rehabilitated.
The ASPA CEO pointed out that in order to rehabilitate the well, they must have a safe, well equipped drill rig. “We have a drill rig but it is not well-equipped yet,” he said. He further explained they are required to monitor for chlorine at Well 70 and report to the American Samoa Environmental Protection Agency, which makes the final decision to lift the Boil Water Notice.
However he told Samoa News there are risks in this ongoing effort.
“There are risks, where Well 70 increased pumping may raise the salt concentration of the water (which is why we must monitor it daily for weeks).”
Utu said there must be a back up well if Well 80 is going to be out of commission for a while. He did say fortunately, the Leone-Amanave distribution system is very reliable; the water is soft; the distribution system is fairly new and so non-revenue water (leaks) are low compared to other distribution systems (e.g., town area).
Emails and calls to AS-EPA regarding a date for lifting the Boil Water notice were not immediately returned.