September 29, 2016

Improved water for East Bank Berbice residents

The Guyana Water Inc (GWI) is making moves to improve the quality of water being supplied to residents of the East Bank  Berbice. This was announced late last week when Chief Executive Officer of the company met with residents of that community.

Dr Van West Charles

Dr Richard Van West Charles

CEO of Guyana Water Inc (GWI) Dr Richard Van West Charles said the problem is about high iron content from the well.
He explained that along the coast a lot of the wells are drilled in what is referred to as ‘A’ sand and many of them have a high iron content. The CEO said the utility company is now carrying out tests to remove the iron from the water.
A two-prong approach is being looked at one of which includes flushing pipelines and the other is adding a chemical to water mains.
“In the meantime I will ask engineers in Region Six to keep flushing the lines as frequent as possible and then we will ask them to collect samples of the water so they can be tested,” Charles-West said.
“Because of where the water is coming from, it has a high iron content. That redness that you see is as a result of the iron and then when we put chlorine to remove bacteria it caused oxidation and causes the redness to appear much more.”
He said the question of quality is being addressed countrywide and results from Cranbrook, Agricola and Ithaca are encouraging.
While not telling the residents the name of the chemical being added to water to remove the redness, Dr Van West Charles said it is being used in the United States, Belize, The Bahamas and Europe. “Because it is good in one place, it may not necessarily be good here. So we are conducting those tests.”
The residents noted that in the community only some have water meters connected and they receive higher bills from GWI. That fact the CEO did not deny but explained that metered customers pay for the water they use while the unmetered customers are billed according to a countrywide estimation. However, he noted that the company is currently sourcing more water meters to enable more persons to have their systems metered.
“There are some people too who are getting water who are not registered with us, that is a reality. At the end of the day, the company cannot run without people paying for the water because every system that we have to generate the water, we have to use electricity.”
The meeting between the CEO and residents was arranged following a protest by residents on Tuesday over the quality of water being supplied to residents on the East Bank Berbice.

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