La Paz begins work to restore potable water following mudslide

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bolivian authorities have begun work to restore potable water service in capital La Paz following the mudslide that destroyed part of the city on February 27.

The disaster forced water utility Epsas to suspend water service to 80,000 residents in 41 neighborhoods to avoid further mudslides and damage to its pipelines.

The country's vice president Álvaro García Linera said 75% of La Paz's southern region would be receiving limited potable water service by Monday (Mar 7).

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Potable water will be supplied between 8-11pm for up to 30 days, after which the service will be fully restored, García Linera said. Other areas will continue receive potable water via trucks, state news agency ABI reported.

Epsas and state hydrocarbons company YPFB's transport arm YPFB Transporte plan to install a 2km pipeline in 20-30 days, aimed at fully restoring potable water service to the city.

A 4km pipeline is due to be built in 60 days, connecting the affected area with the Epsas-Pampahasi potable water treatment plant.

The two pipelines are budgeted at US$4mn-5mn and will be funded by the government and Epsas.