Donetsk, Jun 18 - DAN. The replacement of the rundown water pipe section in the Kiev-controlled area in northern Donbass will cost at least one billion hryvnas, the Voda Donbassa utility company said on Thursday.

“The 2nd Donetsk water supply pipe is worn out and needs an overhaul,” the company said. “Many pipe segments’ wear and tear reaches nearly 100 percent and a 20-kilometer long stretch is in an advanced state of disrepair.”

The pipeline in question supplies water to four large towns and adjacent villages and settlements in northern Donbass with a population of several hundred thousand people. Kramatorsk alone has nearly 187,000 residents, according to early 2019 statistics. The pipe is actually the only water supply line in this part of the region.

“It is very difficult to carry out repairs due to the severe wear of water pipes and rusting. Given the large pipe diameters - from 900mm to 1,400mm, repairs might last several days. Pipe replacements can be up to three meters long,” Voda Donbassa said.

The situation worsened in 2014 as heavy fighting caused damage to water supply networks. According to Voda Donbassa estimates, replacement of the rundown pipe will cost more than one billion hryvnas (approx. 2.6 billion rubles). The problem was voiced at various government levels, but remains unresolved. The company is unable to fund these works on its own.

It urged the customers to treat the situation with understanding because uninterrupted water supply was not possible without complete overall of the rundown segments. Customers were recommended to stock water in the summer.

The 97-kilometer long 2nd Donetsk water pipe was commissioned in 1954.  It feeds water to customers in Slavyansk, Kramatorsk, Konstantinovka, Druzhkovka, Novgorodskoye and other settlements. The Serversky Donets river and underground sources make up 70 and 30 percent of water supply, respectively.*jk