The microbial quality of water of the Fyrish Well is intact

Dear Editor,

The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) wishes to respond to a letter published in the daily newspapers regarding the location of the Fyrish Well in Region 6, East Berbice/Corentyne.

Since the establishment of the Fyrish Well in 1973, there has been a significant increase in the number of customers it serves, with the current customer base being 1,120. The communities served by the well include Fyrish, Chesney, No. 1 Village, Gibraltar and Kilcoy. GWI has been examining the lifespan of the well, to ascertain its capacity to sustain a reliable water supply to these communities. The matter has already gained the attention of the utility’s Board of Directors which is exploring the likelihood of drilling an additional well at another location.

To date, however, the microbial water quality of the Fyrish Well is intact and consistent with the drinking water guidelines recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the WHO Guidelines for Drinking-Water Quality, 4th edition (2011), “For microbial water quality, verification is based on the analysis of faecal indicator microorganisms, with the organism of choice being Escherichia coli (E.coli) or, alternatively, thermotolerant coliforms.” It is against this backdrop that E.coli as well as total coliforms are consistently monitored at the Fyrish well as is the case at all of the company’s water production sites countrywide.

Based on water quality data measured over the years, the records show that there is a characteristic absence of pathogenic microorganisms as indicated by consistent non-detection of E.coli.

Below is a table illustrating the average E.coli over the last three years.

GWI operates a central laboratory and several mini laboratories, one of which is located in Port Mourant, Berbice, where the general water quality of all wells and treatment plants are consistently monitored for safety. In addition to this, other independent laboratories are also used to corroborate the water quality data whenever needed. These laboratories use approved methods based on standard internationally recognized practices, and like the GWI laboratories, adhere to a strict quality management system.

The GWI central laboratory subscribes to the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) which provides proficiency testing in support of laboratory accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 standards. In addition to this, the GWI laboratory collaborates with certified independent laboratories within the CARICOM region such as Kaizen Environmental Laboratory (based in Trinidad and Tobago) for inter-laboratory comparison of random samples so as to ascertain the accuracy and precision of the analysis performed in GWI.

With the aforementioned, we assure our customers that the management and staff of GWI continually strive to remain dedicated to delivering the highest quality services to customers with their satisfaction, safety and good health being our prime focus.

Yours faithfully,

Leana Bradshaw

Public Relations Officer

Guyana Water Incorporated

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