Wakenaam water woes: GWI says interference with water network reducing water quality


Head of Water Quality at Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Avinash Parsram, on Tuesday said interference with the system by customers is one of the reasons why there is a high concentration of iron in the water on the island of Wakenaam in the Essequibo River.

Parsram was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer Shaik Baksh at a conference on Tuesday when the pair addressed a recent complaint about the quality of water at Wakenaam.

Head of Water Quality at Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), Avinash Parsram speaking at the conference (Photo: News Room)

The pair said GWI is not to be blamed for the iron content found in the water supplied by the company. Baksh said the water supply along the coastal belt has varying levels of iron in the water.

He explained that in 2022 a well was built at Noitgedacht, Wakenaam where residents have said the production of the well is “excellent”.

Chief Executive Officer Shaik Baksh during the conference on Tuesday (Photo: News Room)

Baksh said GWI has been working to to ensure that treated water is delivered to customers at all levels. Baksh said GWI uses a state-of-the-art laboratory to test the water in efforts to ensure that the water supplied to customers is treated and safe to avoid spread of diseases. He also reminded that GWI was re-certified by the Guyana National Bureau of Standard (GNBS).

Meanwhile, Parsram explained that GWI has conducted several tests of the water quality in visits to the island and the community of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo. At Wakenaam, the turbidity of the water was 2.2 and 3.2 at Tuschen in 2022.

“The results generated over the last year for these wells indicate that at all times the turbidity and the colour of the water from these wells have met the WHO guidelines. The only parameter that has not met the guideless is the iron content,” the Head of Water Quality said.

He added that customer interference with the networks are a factor that contributed to quality being reduced.

“Wherever iron is present, you will find iron bacteria that can grow in the storage tanks; now it is seldom that these bacteria grow in the well itself.

“Customers that interfere with the well can cause bacteria to feed into the system,” he explained, adding that this causes the water to have an odor.


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