Fire concerns prompt water main upgrade

February 28, 2024 3:15 pm

The Water Authority of Fiji admits the need to upgrade water mains to larger sizes.

FBC News asked WAF about this as the National Fire Authority highlighted it as a concern following a fire that destroyed 95 percent of the historic Defence Club in Suva yesterday.

NFA Chief Executive Puamau Sowane had stated that inadequate water pressure was a challenge.

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Meanwhile, WAF Chief Operating Officer Seru Soderberg confirmed that there is a standard operating arrangement between the two agencies.

Soderberg says the arrangement requires WAF to perform urgent valve operations to increase water pressure, thereby aiding NFA firefighting teams.

He says that upon notification of a fire, WAF would immediately dispatch a duty supervisor to assist in locating nearby fire hydrants.

He adds that WAF is also mandated to conduct valve operations to boost pressure at hydrants utilized by the NFA team on-site.

As part of the Water Sector 2050 Strategy, Soderberg says WAF has proposed to progressively upgrade aging and undersized pipes within the Suva City area, contingent upon budgetary allocations by the government.