GWI looking to decrease $600M annual chemical bill

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The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) spends a total of $600M on chemicals per year to purify its water.

As the company closes off its operations for 2018, it is looking to significantly decrease this sum with the implementation of inline filters in the new year.

“We use around eighty 50kg bags of alum (aluminium sulfate) per day so that translates to quite a lot in volume. If you’re looking at metric tonnes, we use someway around 150 metric tonnes per month,” GWI’s Director of Operations, Dwayne Shako told the media at a press conference on Monday at the entity’s Vlissengen Road, Georgetown head office.

The company imports chemical from Turkey, Canada and China among other countries.

However, it is now looking to solve this problem with the introduction of a new filtration system.

Shako said the intention is not just to reduce the use of chemicals but eventually eliminate the use of chemicals at the shelter belt, Vlissengen Road, Georgetown, Linden and Bartica.

“The alum [aluminium sulfate] that we are using is just to remove the colour from the surface water…the technology we are using and the filtration system is going to remove that colour without the need to apply chemicals,” he noted.

Managing Director of GWI, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles disclosed that the inline filters will be funded through the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and resources being earned from the increased fixed charges implemented by the company in October.

The sum, which will be saved from purchasing chemicals, will be put to upgrading the transmission lines in Georgetown.

Over the year, the GWI has been increasing its water quality treatment at schools and in regions where the iron content is highest.

In 2018, over 12,530 water quality tests were conducted countrywide to ensure that the water supply is compliant with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standard. Additionally, new water treatment systems were installed at Barbina, Mathews Ridge, Mabaruma and other areas.

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