A senior official from the Phnom Penh Wate​r Supply Authority (PPWSA) has confirmed that on May 5, residents of Phnom Penh and neighbouring Takhmao tow​n of Kandal province will have access to an adequate supply of clean water.

The first phase of the Bakheng water treatment plant was successfully tested on April 21, with a 400mm pipe pumping clean water to Chroy Changvar district of the capital.

PPWSA deputy director-general Pheng Ty, who is responsible for water supply management, told The Post on April 23 that the team was currently preparing to pump water to the Morodok Techo National Sports Complex – on the east the Prek Pnov Bridge on the outskirts of the capital – and to a water main to the west of the bridge.

“Checks for leaks or infiltration of outside matter are underway. Based on the pace of our activities, we anticipate that consumers in Phnom Penh and Takhmao will have access to an appropriate supply by May 5,” he said.

Ty explained that the PPWSA expected to have the capacity to produce more than 1 million cubic metres of clean water per day by the beginning of next year, more than enough to meet the current demand of 900,000cubic metres. He called on the public to remain patient and use water sparingly until all water mains connections are completed.

In November 2019, the PPWSA and VINCI Construction Grand Projects signed a contract to complete the first phase of the Bakheng plant, which has a capacity of 195,000 cubic metre per day. The project totalled $156 million, with $136 million being provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance through two development partners: French development agency AFD and the European Investment Bank (EIB). The PPWSA supplied the remaining $20 million.

Seng Thida, a trader in Chroy Changvar’s Bakheng village and commune, told The Post that she and her fellow villagers had already seen a vast improvement.

“For the past few days, we have had excellent water pressure 24 hours a day. During March, especially, the supply was extremely intermittent,” she said.

However, Nas Sinath, 56, a resident of Chraing Chamres 1 commune in Russey Keo district, said that without a pump to draw water from the mains, it was not possible to get water anywhere above the ground floor, especially during the day.

“At my house, we have running water day and night, but only on the ground floor. Without a pump, there is not enough water pressure to reach upstairs,” she added.

She was pleased to hear that the PPWSA had guaranteed that all water supply issues would be resolved by the beginning of 2024.