After working non-stop for over ten hours, workers from Guyana Water Inc. (GWI) were finally able to replace the ruptured water main along Church Street, restoring the flow of water to the many wards that were left without on Sunday.
Residents from several wards around Georgetown, including, Charlestown, Queenstown, Werk-en-rust and along Mandela Avenue were all without water from about 11am on Sunday, after the water pump located at the shelter belt on Vlissingen Road had to be turned off to facilitate repairs to the main, located between Light and Cummings streets.
GWI spokesman Timothy Austin had said on Sunday that the company learned of the ruptured main some time Saturday afternoon and had commenced works to repair it, but that the complex nature of the problem was making it quite difficult to fix. He did, however, say that all efforts were being made to fix the problem and that they hoped to complete works either late Sunday evening or early Monday morning.
The supervising engineer on site told Stabroek News that they planned to cut and replace a 20ft portion of the ruptured iron pipe and replace it with Polyvinyl Chloride, which he said was exceedingly better than that iron in many ways. He stated that the main had ruptured simply because it was old and worn.
He shared that the pipe was part of a system that had been laid down over a half century ago, and that years of being subjected to the pressure of continuously flowing water had placed a substantial amount of stress on it, causing it to rupture.
Many hurdles were encountered while trying to replace the portion of pipe, such as the excavation of 3-4 feet of earth, continuous flooding of the site excavated for the purpose of repairing the pipes and the constant malfunction of the saws being used to cut the pipe due to them being submerged in water.
As a result of those efforts, residents from Werk-en-rust, Queenstown, Charlestown and several other wards, who were left without running from about, woke up to find that their water had been stored. In a message on its Facebook page yesterday, GWI advised that normal service had been restored to affected Georgetown customers but noted that customers would observe temporary discolouration.