Water supply was intermittently stopped on Friday noon to the Colombo, Kotte, Dehiwala and Mount Lavinia Municipality after officials at the Water Board found oil at the Ambatale Water Treatment plant.
Speaking to the Nation, Deputy General Manager of the Board Ranjith Perera who is based at the plant confirmed as officials found residue of oil and had to stop the pump intermittently. Contaminated water was pumped out of the facility.
“We believe that oil residue which had been stagnant along the shores of the river bank had been swept mid stream due to the heavy rainfall,” said Water Board Chairman Kuddoos Alahudeen Ansar. “It is in the interest of the general public that we took immediate steps to stop water supply until the tank was cleansed of the oil.”
He reassured the public that the Water Board was doing its best to keep them informed of the situation. “The Ambatale plant is in operation again and we expect to resume water supply,” he added.
Coca-Cola admitted last week that an unground leak in one of their fuel pipes led to the contamination of water. According to Coca-Cola, the leak was plugged immediately last week, however, oil had seeped into the river basin. Officials spent over 9 hours on Monday last week to flush out the contaminated water.
The Central Environment Authority immediately suspended Coca-Cola’s Environment Protection License for a gross negligence of its mandate. The resumption of the company’s license according to the CEA is entirely at the discretion of a committee which is currently probing the issue. According to reports, Coca-Cola has been fined up to Rs.1 billion for the damages caused.