Peru water company to install plastic manhole covers

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

As the number of manhole cover thefts increases in Peru’s capital, SEDAPAL Water Company is evaluating weather it will change its metal covers for plastic ones, said company president Guillermo Leon Suematsu.

The head of the water company explained that the new covers would be made of a plastic that could withstand the weight of people and vehicles.

He added that the new lids would save the company a significant amount of money because it took fewer workers to install and were easier to put into place.

"What is most important is that pedestrians are kept out of harm’s way," affirmed Leon, stating that citizens were being harmed by criminals interested in making money by selling the stolen manholes.

According to SEDAPAL, approximately 2,000 metal lids were stolen in the first semester of 2008.

The water company affirmed that each cover was worth approximately $100.

Leon explained that in the past the company attempted to decrease the number of robberies by making the manhole covers out of concrete.

He stated this solution had not been effective because the concrete lid had a metal frame.

"Now that the price of metal is increasing, this has turned into a business," said the head of SEDAPAL, reporting there were 125,000 lids in Lima and Callao.