Jersey Water are preparing the Desalination Plant to be brought in to service as a precautionary measure due to very low Autumn rainfall and the long term forecast predicting drier than average weather through to the end of January 2019. Current reservoir levels are 46% full; down 658 megalitres on the same period last year when reservoirs were 71% full. From May – October there was 227mm of rainfall, significantly less than the same period last year of 485mm. This will be the first time since December 2011 that the plant will have been used out of necessity.
The reverse osmosis desalination plant is a two-stage process and is basically a high-pressure filtration process, whereby sea water is forced through a semi-permeable membrane, converting 45% of the sea water into fresh water. The 55% of remaining sea water containing brine and other dissolved solids rejected by the membranes is discharged back into the sea. It is remotely controlled from Handois Water Treatment Works and at full capacity can produce the equivalent of approximately half the present daily demand for water.
Helier Smith, Chief Executive said “At present there is no cause for concern however with little rain forecast for the foreseeable future, we need to ensure resources are able to recover over the winter to provide sufficient reserves for next spring / summer. The plant is being prepared for use and likely to go into production early December.”
“We are urging Islanders to use water wisely in order to help reduce waste and preserve water resources. Everybody can do their bit to help reduce the amount of water that is wasted, whether it’s in the home, the garden, at work or at school – many of the changes in routine are small and will hardly be noticed.”
Top water-saving tips:
1. Take a shower instead of a bath – the average shower uses 40 litres less water than a bath.
2. If you’d rather take a bath, running it just one inch shallower can save 5 litres of water – twice your daily intake through drinking.
3. Turn off the tap – you can save six litres of water a minute by turning off the tap when you brush your teeth.
4. Check for leaks in your home – if you have a dripping tap or a leaky pipe in your house you could be dripping away money.
5. Visit Jersey Water’s website www.jerseywater.je for lots of water saving tips and a water saving engine which will help reduce your water consumption and save on your utility bills.