Residents in the mining town of Linden, Region 10, can expect better water supply this year, as the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) plans to implement vital enhancements and maintenance works to the water treatment plants in that area.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Incorporated, Mr. Shaik Baksh, said the water treatment plants at Amelia’s Ward, West Watooka, Mackenzie and Wisroc are functioning at capacity reduction.
“We have five water treatment plants in Linden alone and there is a problem there…because nothing has been done in Linden over the last five years to upgrade and maintain the systems,” he said in an interview.
Mr. Baksh added that the funds for those tasks were included in this year’s National Budget. “We have to upgrade the water treatment plants before they collapse,” he stated.
The CEO noted that works would be done at additional water treatment plants at Covent Garden and Grove on the East Bank of Demerara. For the past three years, those treatment plants have not been working at full capacity.
Coming down to the end of 2020, enhancements were made to the treatment plant at Eccles. Mr. Baksh related that residents are receiving treated water through their taps and there has been minimum complaints from said areas.
“The plants were not operating as treatment plants; that is Eccles, Covent Garden and Grove. Actually, raw water was coming through those plants. Also, the water was treated by a chemical known as ‘Sequest’ and we have discontinued that because it is a huge cost. This sequest to treat iron content in the water cost this utility over four years $1.8 billion and we are now flushing the wells and they are minimum complaints,” the CEO explained.
He also added that to improve water quality at the wells in the Essequibo Islands, works would be done.
According to Mr. Baksh, these projects are part of GWI’s overall plan to provide 80% access to treated water by the year 2025 in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 0.3 milligrams per litres of iron content or less.
96 per cent of the country’s population has access to water, but the treated water coverage in accordance to the WHO standard is just 52 per cent out of 27 water plants overall.
For that reason, the Government has planned to make provisions for new water treatments to meet the standard and to enhance and enlarge the transmission and distribution network to amplify coverage from existing treatment plans. Plans to install water meters to observe, increase income and control demand are underway.