The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has released its 2015 Annual Report and is calling on the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) to step up efforts to have faecal coliform eliminated from its water supply network.
According to the PUC in the report, GWI submits its monthly water quality test results to the Commission, which randomly selects samples from 24 locations and compared the test results to the standard set by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Commission outlined that the test results for pH, Iron, turbidity, aluminium, colour, chlorine residual, total coliform and faecal coliform were compared with the WHO standards and revealed that GWI was close to achieving all of the standards with the exception of faecal coliform.
“Faecal coliform by its very nature is hazardous to health and a greater effort is required by GWI to achieve compliance with this standard,” the PUC remarked in its report as reinstated its committed to monitoring the water quality standards.
The Commission added that GWI had committed to achieving the WHO bacteriological standards within six months for coastal water supplies and within 12 months for hinterland water supplies as stated in the GWI licence which was issued on November 13, 2002. This licence has since expired and the company and the stakeholder should make all efforts to ensure that the company is operating with a licence.
Back in October, the PUC had ordered GWI to halt its usage of a potentially dangerous chemical – Antinfek – for countrywide water treatment purposes, “until a full and comprehensive review by an external agency confirms that it is compatible with existing safety standards.”
The Guyana Times newspaper had first reported that GWI was using the chemical, which not only Haiti refused to use but is without certification from the US National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and failed to demonstrate its ability to meet the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) limited protection microbiological performance targets.
Additionally, Director of the Government Analyst Food and Drug (GA-FDD) Marlan Cole told another section of the media that the Antinfek chemical has negative reviews and has also not been tested or certified by the GA-FDD.
But GWI said the chemical is not dangerous, pointing out that it was tested by a number of other laboratories in Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Switzerland, Ghana, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago and Germany, all showing favourable results in its use.
Meanwhile, the PUC in its annual report has suggested that the company uses a new technology being adopted by utilities companies around the world to effect disconnections and reconnections. The Commission said during ongoing research it became aware of the “Rye Ball Valve”.
The PUC explained that this device is a right angle lockable ball valve that is attached to the consumers’ main to effect a disconnection. It carries the added feature of a seal which when in place ensures that the consumer could only be illegally reconnected by breaking the seal.
“This acts as a deterrent to illegal re-connections which is a problem currently faced by GWI. The Commission has forwarded this information to GWI and hopes the company may find it practical and useful,” the Commission stated.