Sernac files complaint against Essal

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chile's consumer watchdog Sernac has filed a collective complaint with a Río Negro court against water utility Essal, serving southern regions X and XIV.

The complaint is due to the poor quality of water supplied to Purranque during January and February this year, Sernac said in a release.

More than 100 residents in the Villa Araucanía area received cloudy and foul-smelling water. While studies by national sanitation service authority SISS showed the water was not harmful, it was also found to contain levels of iron and manganese that were higher than those allowed by Chilean law.

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Sernac is seeking the maximum fine and compensation for the affected clients, according to the release.

Essal is controlled by France's Suez Environnement. The Chilean government holds a 45.5% stake through state development agency Corfo, which it plans to sell off later this year.