“Waste of thousands of liters of water per four leaks”

By n/a, Página Siete | 11/19/2016 | (Translated from Spanish to English with Google Translate by Nicole Felter)


Amidst all of the water rationing that is currently happening in Bolivia, due to a leak, thousands of liters of water were lost in La Florida, Obrajes and Alto Obrajes. For various reasons, the pipes of the main drinking network had failed and caused a large leak. Different pipes in different locations broke causing a playground to flood and vehicular congestion. The Social Public Water and Sanitation Company (EPSAS) have been in charge of fixing these issues and have been the brunt of the blame for the flooding and the loss of water.



In the midst of a crisis due to the water shortage in La Paz, thousands of liters of liquid were lost yesterday in four leaks from the EPSAS pipelines in Sopocachi, La Florida, Obrajes and Alto Obrajes. Neighbors complain about the delay in care and claim for the waste of water that is restricted in 94 areas.

"The leakage is caused by the operation of opening and closing the valves, which causes fatigue in the main drinking water network and the effects are these," Ramas Miranda, head of the Network Department, Ramiro Miranda, Emergency of the day in Obrajes.

Since the early hours of the morning, neighbors reported the rupture of a pipe between Abdón Saavedra and Agustín Aspiazu streets in Sopocachi (an area that does not suffer from rationing). The Social Public Water and Sanitation Company (EPSAS) reported that its personnel came to the site at 8:49, but the water continued to be lost for at least 90 minutes.

At noon, alarmed neighbors reported that on Calle 8 de Calacoto the water gushed out of a pipe. It was so much that it flooded the playground of the park Florida.

The EPSAS team was present at the site after 14:00, after dozens of distress calls that collapsed the lines of the company. The water continued to be wasted until after 15:00.
"We have been surprised with this mishap at noon. A primary pipe has been broken that leads water to Mallasa and Aranjuez and that passes right by the playground of our park La Florida", later informed the manager of the Municipal Company of Areas Greens (Emaverde), Julio Linares.

Karen Yáñez, the director of the Office of Business and Services Inspection, Karen Yáñez, informed that this is not the first time that this pipe has been broken, since this emergency was presented two years ago. Because of the flood, the park will be closed this weekend.

At midnight 18:00 "another pipe broke in 16 Calle de Obrajes. The force of the water dragged earth and stones by the main roads of the sector, causing vehicular congestion.


The EPSAS workers who were still working in Florida moved there. "We were in the other leak, we had to take 20 minutes," said the company's chief of networks, explaining that both emergencies were related: "To repair the La Florida pipeline we have shut down the main water valves. That closure has caused the pressure to cause the crack, "he said.

An hour later the fourth flood was reported in the city which, paradoxically, suffers from water shortages. Neighbors of Alto Obrajes - another area affected by the restriction - saw streets and some houses flooded by a strong drain of the pipes.

There the new auditor of EPSAS, Marcel Claure, met and was rebuked by indignant neighbors. "How is it possible that missing water like this?", "Put yourself in our place, we have children, family, we need water." It was a right! "It was the claims that the authority heard calm, and left without issuing statements.

Many social networking users criticized EPSAS for the situation. The company launched a water rationing in 94 districts of the South area and the eastern slope of the city on Tuesday, 8 November, due to the decrease in the level at the Incachaca and Hampaturi dams.

Every time a pipe is emptied and refilled, there is an effect evident in the turbidity of water in different sectors of the city and in the rupture of pipes.

When the pipe is emptied and filled again with great force and speed, the "crust" of rusty material is released and with it, the pipe becomes thinner, since, however crusted it may be, it protects and of a certain thickness.

This phenomenon is called water hammer. It is the violent shock that occurs on the walls of a forced conduit, when the liquid movement is abruptly modified.

In other words, water hammer may occur in a pipe leading a liquid to the stop, when there is a braking or acceleration in the flow; For example, the change of opening in a valve in the water network.

The consequences of this situation will not be seen immediately. But predictably there will be much more leakage of flow and with it loss of our precious water.



In Obrajes, the leak dragged mud and stones and flooded streets.




Desperdicio de miles de litros de agua por cuatro fugas. (2016, November 19). Retrieved November 28, 2016, from http://www.paginasiete.bo/sociedad/2016/11/19/desperdicio-miles-litros-agua-cuatro-fugas-117537.html