Muscat: A break yesterday in a major water pipeline in the Al Khuwair area resulted in backed-up traffic, the diversion of vehicles, damage to roads and, most importantly, disruption of water supplies.
Additionally, parts of the road were washed away due to rushing water that flowed from the pipeline. Also, debris carried onto roads by the water led to authorities blocking some roads in the area. Work is now underway to restore the roads, as well as repair the damaged water pipeline.
Abdullah Al Naa'mi, operations manager at the Public Authority for Electricity and Water, said that the pipe burst about 5:30 am at Al Khuwair 33 in the Wilayat of Bausher. The water pipeline was said to have been laid three years ago, according to officials.
The water pipeline begins in the Al Gubrah Water Desalination Station and feeds Muscat, Muttrah, Amerat, Ruwi, Wadi Kabir and Wattayah.
Officials believe repairs to the damaged pipeline would be completed in about 24 hours, Al Naa'mi said.
He added, "Another alternative feeding water pipeline will be used to meet the shortage of water in the affected areas."
However, he explained that water supplies would be affected in some parts of Muscat due to shortages of water in storage tanks.
Digging, the culprit
The pipeline was said to have broken as a result of digging carried out by a company working in the area. A call centre employee at the Public Authority for Electricity and Water said yesterday, "The water supply to areas, such as Ruwi, Bausher and Muttrah, was affected and may remain so for 24 hours. Only after the repairs are completed will the water supply be restored."
In some areas near Ruwi, the water supply was disrupted as early as yesterday afternoon.
Of note, commuters in the area were stuck in traffic for hours because of the damage to the road and problems caused by floating debris. Officials said a technical team from Muscat Municipality immediately rushed to the scene and worked for hours to repair the damage and remove debris from the road. Another Muscat Municipality team is working to repair the road.
Also, traffic was diverted from the area to an alternative road, to ensure the flow of traffic. "I was stuck in traffic that did not move for 45 minutes.
"Normally, I take 15 minutes to reach Ruwi. I hope the road is restored as early as possible," said a manager of a company.
The Public Authority for Electricity and Water is in contact and coordinating with authorities so life in the area returns to normal soon.