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SENATOR AIRS GRIPES OVER INTERIM WATER SYSTEM

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Sen. Roosevelt David said Friday that St. John water haulers have a number of complaints about the alternate potable water supply system the Water And Power Authority has put into place for the next six weeks, and he's on their side.
WAPA announced Wednesday that it had contracted with Seven Seas Water Corp. to use its recently installed reverse-osmosis plant to produce potable water for St. John for six weeks while the utility has the island's desalination unit out of service to conduct maintenance work. WAPA said the water would be supplied through its distribution system and the St. John standpipes.
According to a press release from David's office, water haulers on St. John have been calling him "to express their deep frustration and disappointment" with the service at the standpipes. The truck drivers are complaining that the plant "does not open or correct plant malfunctions until hours after the water haulers have lined up for their first loads," the release stated. David said the late starting times, the malfunctions and "WAPA's advance payment policy for water that is not available" must "be changed at once."
David also lashed out at WAPA for what he said was its failure to comply with a law requiring the utility to reimburse St. John water haulers for barging costs when they must travel to St. Thomas to fill their tanks because St. John's water needs are not being met on island.
According to the senator, who sponsored the bill mandating that reimbursement in 1998, WAPA "has yet to comply with this law and owes approximately $40,000 to St. John water haulers and barge companies." The release said attorney David Bornn has agreed to represent the haulers and barge firms in a class-action suit "to recover the money that is due."

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