Workers repair the leak that has affected thousands of households in Iztapalapa. Workers repair the leak that has affected thousands of households in Iztapalapa.

More water problems in CDMX; thousands affected by leak

120 neighborhoods in Iztapalapa have been without water since Saturday

There are more water problems in Mexico City but this time it’s not the weather that’s to blame but a serious leak.

About 120 neighborhoods in Iztapalapa, Mexico’s City’s most populous borough, have had limited or no water service since Saturday, the director of the capital’s water system said yesterday.

Ramón Aguirre Díaz of Sacmex explained that the shortfall in is due to a leak in a pipe from the Tulyehualco aqueduct and not related to the scarcity of water caused mainly by recent high temperatures in Mexico City, which left close to one million people without running water.

He said Sacmex personnel have been working as quickly as possible to repair the break, which measures 36 inches in diameter, and that water was expected to begin to flow again this morning.

In an interview with the newspaper El Sol de México, Aguirre added that due to the need to truck water into Iztapalapa in recent days moderate water restrictions were applied in other parts of the city, specifically the boroughs of Benito Juárez and Cuauhtémoc.

However, he ruled out any possibility of imposing stricter restrictions, explaining that the “objective is for everyone to have water in the capital.”

Another Sacmex official who oversees projects in the south of the city said the agency’s anti-leaks squad is constantly working to ensure that seepages are promptly plugged and water supply is maintained.

Given the number of people affected by the current water outage — 40% of Iztapalapa’s neighborhoods —Sigifredo Ambriz Mujica said repairing the leak was given priority over other jobs.

He explained that a repair team made up of 15 workers have been soldering and tightening the juncture of two pipes in the borough of Tlalpan. They are located 12 kilometers from Iztapalapa but directly supply the eastern borough.

Ambriz said the problem was caused by the age of the asbestos pipes and that new steel ones will soon replace them.

Water supply problems in Iztapalapa, where almost two million people live, are not new and many homes in the sprawling borough have long relied on infrequent water deliveries because they are not connected to the city’s network.

There are some initiatives, however, which aim to improve supply to the most populous part of one of the world’s most populous cities.

A rainwater harvesting project arrived last year that provided a solution — at least in the rainy season — for 1,900 families in 59 Iztapalapa neighborhoods and there are also plans to build an innovative water treatment complex in the borough.

Source: El Sol de México (sp)

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