21 Feb 2011

Reduced water hours lead to system contamination in Marshall Islands

10:40 am on 21 February 2011

The Marshall Islands water system is showing increasing contamination from a lack of water pressure as rationing of water tightens due to a long dry season.

Majuro Water and Sewer Company reduced city water hours from three to two days a week in mid-January.

The Marshall Islands Environmental Protection Authority recently tested 26 locations in the public water distribution system and found E. coli in four locations.

In a recently released report, the Authority said the cause of the contamination is the reduction in water pressure in the pipes as a result of reduced water hours.

In October and November, fresh water reserves peaked at about 33 million gallons.

Since the start of the dry season in January, the city water reservoir levels have dropped to 15 million gallons.

Most homes in Majuro have water tanks that are filled by rain

Fresh water hours are rarely more than three days a week in Majuro.