By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – Pumping from major water sources remained suspended on Thursday due to concerns over muddy water, leaving several west Amman neighbourhoods dry, according to officials and residents.

As of Thursday morning, 50 per cent of Amman’s water sources was shut down after this week’s heavy rains washed dirt into dams and wells, according to the Jordan Water Company (Miyahuna).

“Heavy rain and flash floods caused water from several sources to become murky, forcing us to suspend pumping from Sunday,” Miyahuna Operation Manager Ghazi Khalil told The Jordan Times over the phone on Thursday.

Pumping from the Zara-Maeen Water Treatment Plant, which supplies Amman with around 100,000 cubic metres daily, resumed on Thursday at 40 per cent capacity, Khalil said, adding that he expected the plant to return to full capacity by late Thursday.

The Wadi Seer Water Treatment Plant also resumed operations on Wednesday, while pumping from Al Waleh station and some Ruseifa wells remained suspended late Thursday.

“Miyahuna and the Ministry of Health are carrying out daily tests on water from suspended sources to ensure their water is fit for consumption,” Khalil said, adding that officials will not resume pumping until they rule out contaminants.

Miyahuna pumps over 408,000 cubic metres of water to Amman daily from several water sources such as Zara-Maeen, Qastal wells, Qatraneh, Swaqa and the Zai Water Treatment Plant.

The suspension has affected the water distribution programme, under which households receive water once a week on a rotating basis, according to the Miyahuna official.

Some west Amman residents have resorted to private water tankers to hold them over until the next distribution cycle.

Abu Mohammad, a water tanker driver, said he delivered water to five households in Dahiyat Al Amir Rashed in west Amman in one evening.

“It has been very busy, people have been calling all morning asking for water, but there is no way to respond to all of them,” he said, indicating that several households have been placed on the waiting list.