“It got out of control,” Essal’s operations manager, Andrés Duarte, said a few days ago, acknowledging the scale of the emergency affecting Osorno commune as a result of the 1,100-litre spill at its production plant, a fact that forced the city to suspend the water supply since last Thursday.
Today, Duarte added a new item to the list, and revealed that some of the oil that polluted the drinking water treatment system also reached the Rahue River.
According to Radio Bíobío, although Duarte noted that the situation “could be contained with floating systems” and “is something that is at the knowledge of the environmental authority, immediately afterwards he stated that “part of the oil spill did reach the river”.
“We need to alert people not to consume water from the Rahue River because it’s not drinking water, that’s a common basic measure that people have to take,” he explained, adding that it shouldn’t be used in animals either.
Until now, the supply that is being delivered to the population through supply windows is due to water accumulated in deep wells, which allows to have the equivalent of 40% of the usual demand.
In this context, Duarte explained that customers have reported cloudy water with sediments, such as Michel Saldivia, who via Twitter posted a photo of the water that is currently coming to the Osorno sheep sector.
According to Essal, this is because, in some specific places, “the washing of taps could not be made the sediment drag”, so the company’s recommendation is to let the water drain until it is clarified.
“It is not because the sources are contaminated or because our ponds are contaminated. That is not so, we have to convey peace of mind to the population that the water we distribute has the condition of drinking water,” he concluded.