Aguas Antofagasta's compensation for service cut insufficient - Sernac

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Chile's consumer protection agency Sernac has said the compensatory measures taken by region II water utility Aguas Antofagasta following a five-day water cut are insufficient, local press reported.

The company has offered to voluntarily compensate 94,000 clients that were affected by the cut. However, the company has yet to inform Sernac of a specific solution, according to the agency's region II director, Elizabeth Tapia.

The consumer protection agency has begun collective mediation with the utility over the utility's failure to provide a continuous and quality potable water service. Local authorities in Antofagasta have also filed a request for compensation.

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Aguas Antofagasta could face a fine of up to 500mn pesos (US$1.05mn) over the service cut, which left over 200,000 people without water in regional capital Antofagasta after a desalination plant malfunctioned.

Company director Marco Kútulas has said that the company will not be affected by any legal complaints, as the suspension of service was due to circumstances beyond its control.