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Nov 6, 2019

What is BWS Doing About Discolored Water?

Dave Pascascio

The issue of discoloration that was initially detected in Belize City two weeks ago also remains a priority for BWS.  The change in color of water in the pipelines is attributed to a chemical reaction between chlorine and iron.  The occurrence, however, went unnoticed at other stations along the Belize River, including Belmopan.  Dave Pascascio, who is responsible for the operations of the company, explained what is being done to address the issue of discoloration.


Dave Pascascio, Operations Manager, BWS

“Belize City is different because the discoloration showed up in the distribution system, not while leaving the plant and that was the effect of the iron coming in contact with chlorine, similar to what happened in San Ignacio some years ago.  Since then we have been effectively treating the iron levels that we get in the source at San Ignacio.  We’ve since installed that same system at our Double Run water treatment plant so that in the event the iron level shows up where it will have that reaction with the chlorine, we’ll be able to effectively treat it, similar to what we are doing in San Ignacio.  After Double Run water treatment plant, we will install the same thing in Belmopan which also takes water from the Belize River; all three systems take water from the Belize River.  The part about the iron level reaching Double Run is that it never showed up in Belmopan, so we have San Ignacio source wells upstream on the bank of the river.  We have Belmopan source in Roaring Creek Village and we have Double Run significantly downstream of Belmopan.  So the iron level didn’t show up in Belmopan, it showed up in Double Run and we use Belmopan water treatment plant as an indicator of things to come in the river at Double Run.  The high turbidity water reaches Belmopan; we know exactly when it will reach Double Run so we can prepare for it.”

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