SAINT MARTIN (MARIGOT) - A working cell, composed of the EEASM, SAUR, the ARS and the prefecture's services, was created following the appearance of bromates on the distribution network, the Collectivite Government said in a media statement on Thursday. The aim is to share information, coordinate actions and enable integrated management of the "crisis".
“The last meeting was held on 8 July. On this occasion, a number of measures were defined in order to restore the standards of potability and water quality. It should be remembered that the problem has not been identified very much on a global scale, and Saint-Martin is in fact a pilot territory in this management. In this sense, the measures taken will evolve according to the analytical feedback of water quality and with a constant concern to preserve public health.
First point of action, disinfection
“From the first detections, the EEASM has focused on increasing the quality control of the disinfectant (sodium hypochlorite), the revision of storage conditions, the implementation of a continuous chlorine analyzer that will allow management instant disinfection. A substitution of this disinfectant with chlorine dioxide, which in experience allows a substantial reduction in bromates levels, is planned.
“It should be noted that while many studies exist with regard to ozonation and its proven impact on the development of bromates, the disinfection process in St. Martin relies on the combination of chemical disinfection and UV use, not on the ozonation principle.
Second line of action: optimizing the pH of water
“PH (water acidity) is one of the parameters influencing water chemistry and the transformation of bromides into bromates. This factor is therefore subject to adjustment (without consequences for health or public or private facilities) and will allow a decrease in bromates rates. Again, these changes are based on water quality feedback.
Third axis of action: material evolution
“The production of water by reverse osmosis requires the use of membranes. SAUR last week made a change of part of these membranes on one of the two production lines in operation,in order to carry out qualitative tests.
“The experiment will correlate this membrane change with a desired drop in bromide levels. It should be noted that these production management parameters had already been identified by the EEASM and integrated into the DSP when it was renewed through modifications to maintenance protocols and equipment change.
“As already stated, the production tool is the subject of a necessary "upgrade" that was planned ahead of the appearance of bromates and which is part of the time.
Mobilization remains unresolved
“Following these first adjustments, the next samples will take place in mid-July. The EEASM, in accordance with its transparency policy, will naturally make the results available to the public and will bring together the dedicated working cell to decide on possible corrective actions. All actors remain mobilized around the Bromates issue and continue to work actively to restore water quality throughout the territory.
“The distribution of bottled mineral water by SAUR continues with the most sensitive audiences, in close collaboration with the Community. Wider distribution solutions are being considered if the crisis were to continue.L'ARS examines the adequacy of the measures taken since the beginning of the crisis under the precautionary principle, the results it will soon transmit will allow the devices to be adjusted.”