12:06 09.07.2018

Ukraine's centralized water supply system could stop providing drinking water

3 min read

Kyivvodokanal has said lack of production of liquid chlorine at JSC Dniproazot may prevent disinfection of drinking water.

"In the middle of June, Dniproazot, which is a producer of liquid chlorine used by water services companies to disinfect drinking water, warned that it was stopping supplies and stopping the production of liquid chlorine. A complicated situation arose at Ukraine's enterprises involved in the disinfection of drinking water. Some enterprises have chlorine reserves from a week to 20 days," Kyivvodokanal said in a statement on the company's website on Friday, July 6.

According to the post, the Ukrvodokanalekologia Association has urgently informed the government and the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) about the situation and asked the officials to intervene and resolve the issue.

"A meeting was held at Dniprovska Regional State Administration on June 23, 2018, to reach agreements with Dniproazot's heads to restore chlorine production. Unfortunately, however, Dniproazot has not yet resumed work," the statement said.

The remaining stocks of liquid chlorine were fully sold out.

Also, a joint meeting was held to address the issue of providing reagents for water disinfection in the systems of centralized drinking water supply. It was attended by representatives of water utilities, disinfectant suppliers and representatives of suppliers of equipment for alternative methods of water treatment.

The report noted that the supply of chlorine in tanks from Europe (Romania) is very problematic. European tanks cannot change the wheelbase, and must also be certified on the territory of Ukraine. Chlorine in tanks is delivered to Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kryvy Rih, Mariupol, and other cities.

"Nowadays, there is no other alternative than to urgently launch the production. If the plant does not resume its work urgently, then at the beginning of next week the supply of water to the centralized water supply network in some regions and cities of Ukraine could be significantly limited and completely discontinued in some cities," Kyivvodokanal said.

Deputy Prime Minister Hennadiy Zubko on June 23 said Dniproazot was obliged to fulfill contractual obligations for the supply of chlorine for water utilities, regardless of the price of gas.

He noted that it is especially notorious to refuse deliveries in the conditions when Dniproazot increased the price of chlorine for water services companies by 300% over the past year.

"Failure to comply with direct contractual obligations leads to administrative liability, and when this affects the critical infrastructure of life support," he said.

Zubko said the government would appeal to the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine with a request to study the situation around Dniproazot, as well as tasking several departments to work out the issue of purchasing chlorine from other suppliers.

Zubko said water companies are gradually switching from using chlorine to sodium hypochlorite, but this process takes time.

Previously, the head of Dniproazot said that the company would not be able to resume work after the completion of repairs due to high gas prices.

PJSC Ukrnafta since April has stopped processing gas at Dniproazot. Ukrnafta previously leased Dniproazot facilities for mineral fertilizer production, including ammonia, which it sold to Dniproazot.