GWI replacing pipelines for Sheriff/Mandela project; warns of increased disruptions to service

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The fast-tracking of the Sheriff Street/Mandela Avenue road expansion project may cause an increase in the frequency of disruptions of water supply to customers in Central Georgetown, the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has cautioned.

This project, which was delayed in 2020 due to the COVID 19 pandemic, includes replacing over seven kilometers of transmission and distribution pipelines from the carriage ways of the expanded roads. Due to the delay, more interconnections to the new pipelines need to be accomplished in a shorter period.

The pipelines to be relocated on both sides of the carriage way are sections of ring mains with over 107 connection points (Tees) which distribute water into the streets and wards of the city.

Upon relocating the new pipelines, the old pipelines in the carriage ways are decommissioned and water supply is transferred to the new pipelines. During this process, water supply to customers of Central Georgetown is either lowered or completely stopped after informing the public.

This is especially done when the transfer includes transmission lines which range between 10 inches and 16 inches diameter pipes, since high flows from the pipeline would hinder work execution by the craftsmen.

Chief Executive Officer of Guyana Water Incorporated, Mr. Shaik Baksh stressed the importance of the project for the improvement of Water Supply in the Capital City.

“We are working closely with the contractors and a special team has been assigned to ensure that the works progress smoothly. It’s our aim to ensure that water supply disruptions are at a minimum during this process,” he stated.

Challenges which may affect the water supply to customers include extra care which must be taken in handling pipelines which are over 60 years old, and account for more fifty percent of the old pipes from which the water supply is transferred to the new pipelines.

Another cause for disruption of water supply in Central Georgetown is the Shelter Belt /Lamaha Street 22-inch Transmission Line upgrade project which replaces an 18-inch cast iron (CI) pipe which is over 60 years old.

While GWI apologised for the inconvenience caused to the citizens of Georgetown during the disruption of water supply, it noted that the successful completion of these projects will ultimately improve water supply to the city over a long-term basis.