Stoppage of water last Saturday at Cotton Tree was an isolated case

Dear Editor,

In response to a letter published in your newspaper on Sunday, February 11, 2018 captioned ‘No explanation for daily water cut-off at Cotton Tree’ by Mr Harry Gill, I would like to rebut the allegations regarding the general water situation in Region 5 and water stoppages at the Cotton Water Treatment Plant over the last two years.

Raw water to the Cotton Tree Water Treatment Plant is sourced from Rosignol Well Station, which operates on a 24-hour basis using electricity provided by the Guyana Power Light (GPL) and a standby generator, equipped with an automatic changeover switch in an effort to negate any unplanned stoppages due to power supply issues.

Last Saturday (February 10, 2018), the period of stoppage which Mr Gill referred to was an isolated case, and this was due to an unbalanced voltage supply from GPL to the Rosignol well station. At the time of my response to his letter, that issue is still to be resolved by GPL as we continue to operate on the standby generator. The changeover switch that was put in place to start the generator only reacts when there is a power outage and high or low voltage, and neither occurred at the time.

Mr Gill’s assessment of the situation is devoid of facts and seems to be hinged on this isolated incident, which was beyond the control of the water utility. He also has the phone number of the GWI Regional Manager who is usually in contact with him on GWI matters and whom he could have contacted for additional information.

Please note there is a continuous supply of water to the communities supplied by the Cotton Tree Water Treatment plant from 4 am to 9 pm daily, with maximum demand pressure supplied between the hours of 5 am and 12 pm and from 3 pm to 9 pm. Off-peak periods are used to facilitate the cleaning of the filters, which is a necessary part of the operation and for boosting the system for the next peak operation. GWI is also currently working to increase water supplied to the treatment plant in an effort to move to a 24-hour supply at this facility.

The management of GWI Region 5 can boast of remarkable improvements in water quality, level of service, coverage and the continuity of supply across the Region, as we strive to meet the needs of our customers in every zone.

Below is a list of achievements and accomplishments that have benefited the Region over the past 2 years:

● 3,330 customers served from the Ithaca well station are now seeing cleaner tiles and whiter clothing in their homes due to the chemical treatment of the water supplied to those residents at the same cost.

● An increase in coverage of the Cotton Tree water treatment plant has seen residents from No 5 and No 6 Villages being supplied with treated water.

● A well was resuscitated to increase the production and service hours of the Cotton Tree Water Treatment Plant. Auxiliary works are currently ongoing to bring this water to the plant.

● Extension of water distribution mains in the villages of Ithaca, No 22, Lovely Lass, Golden Grove, Onverwagt, Trafalgar, No 30, Tempe, Belladrum, Lichfield, No 40-42, Ross, Catherine, Calcutta, Farm to La Raisonable Villages have seen 550 households receiving water in their homes for the very first time, while others benefited from an improved level of service.

● The construction of a river crossing at Wash Clothes Village Mahaicony River and the installation of one Km of distribution main in Hyde Park and Esau and Jacob, Mahaicony Creek have seen residents receiving potable water for the very first time.

● The Region can also continue to boast of the continuous development, rehabilitation and maintenance of its network with upgrades of 11 trench crossings in several villages.

● The metering and upgrade of 850 service connections have resulted in an improved level of service between the villages of Ithaca and Farm and this exercise is ongoing.

● The installation of 46 new service connections was done for residents of the New Hope Housing Scheme in Onderneeming Village, who now benefit from potable water in this new housing area.

● A mini water quality laboratory was constructed and staffed to monitor the water quality supplied to residents on a daily basis.

● GWI has now taken ownership of testing the water quality of storage facilities at schools and health facilities, providing recommendations where necessary.

● The Region has embarked on the successful chlorination of the water well and the rehabilitation of the water supply network for residents in the riverain community of Moraikobai, Region 5.

GWI continues to partner with all communities in the Region and welcomes comments that are factual, unbiased and free from any ulterior motive, as we continuously seek to improve the service provided to all.

Yours faithfully,

Garfield Archibald

Regional Manager (ag)

Region No 5

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