Belize Water Services Limited’s (B.W.S.L.) main water pumps suffered major damage to its electrical circuitry last Saturday causing a shut-down of the island’s water services over the weekend, leaving many customers, including visitors, frustrated and without the benefit of a nice shower. According to Aaron Locke, B.W.S.L. District Manager, the problems with the water pumps were caused due to a Belize Electricity Limited (B.E.L.) fault, when the electricity provider experienced problems with its power lines last Saturday.
“B.E.L.’s phase supply burnt most of the water pumps’ circuitry, and all three pumps in our main station suffered major damage and shut down,” Locke told Ambergris Today this Tuesday. “On Saturday, I had to travel to Belize City and get a whole crew of electricians to come down to San Pedro and help us fix the electrical problems. It was a very unusual situation, with the majority of our water pumps being affected by the B.E.L. phase, which should really supply our system with 3 phase, but we were only getting 2 phase. This is very detrimental to our water pumps’ circuitry.”
According to Locke, it was this inadequate phase supply of power from B.E.L. which caused the water pumps’ electrical circuitry to be severely affected last Saturday, and his staff had to scramble to fix the numerous problems spread throughout their water system servicing the island. “Worst of all, it had to happen during the weekend,” said Locke, referring to how difficult it is to assemble a maintenance crew for assistance, especially if you have to travel to Belize City to get the people.
In total, six B.W.S.L. water pump stations around the island were affected by the damaged circuitry, including a knockout blow to the main station with its three big pumps. According to Aaron Locke, by midnight on Saturday, most of the electrical problems had been sorted out and fixed and only a few areas were still experiencing some problems this Tuesday morning.
Ambergris Today contacted B.E.L. on Tuesday morning to ask the electricity provider whether the utility company had experienced any problems with its power lines. Our newspaper was informed that a B.E.L. wire broke off in a bypass fuse near the Bowen and Bowen Distribution facility. The wire problem was experienced from 7:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 11. According to B.E.L., the feeder was only shut off for 20 minutes to fix the wire problem, and this took place from about 9:25 to 9:45 a.m. B.E.L. also said that during this time when the company was experiencing the problem, at no time did B.W.S.L. contact the electricity provider informing them about the circuitry problems that they were experiencing with the water pumps.
BWSL worked diligently to correct the water outage.