May 31, 2018 / 3:36 PM / a year ago

A glimpse into Malta's underground water caves

A maintenance worker monitors water levels at the Ta' Kandja Underground Galleries, operated by Malta's Water Services Corporation, outside Siggiewi, Malta May 17, 2018. Picture taken May 17, 2018. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

SIGGIEWI, Malta (Reuters) - Deep below the ground, away from the bustle of daily Maltese island life, a haunting silence fills the Ta’ Kandja water caves. Once in a while, the quiet is interrupted by a worker wading through the water or the release of a dam.

A rare glimpse into the Ta’ Kandja pumping station shows the complex network of galleries that make up Malta’s largest groundwater facility, operated by the country’s Water Services Corporation (WSC).

Dating from the 1960s, it is today is “virtually automated”, with only periodic inspections needed, according to WSC spokesman Stephen Zerafa

To supply the local population, WSC relies on groundwater sources as well as reverse osmosis plants, which turn seawater into drinkable water.

Around 40 percent of Malta’s water supply comes from underground sources, of which 12 percent is from Ta’ Kandja, Zerafa said.

Reporting by Darrin Zammit Lupi; Editing by Alison Williams

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