GWI’s water quality lab achieves national certification

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Head of the Conformity Assessment department of the GNBS, Ms Rodlyn Semple presents the certificate to GWI’s Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles. Also in photo from left are GWI’s Lab Consultant, Dr Karamchand Ramoutar, Head of Water Quality, Deon Anderson and Corporate Secreatry, Nigel Niles

History has been made by the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) as its Water Quality laboratory achieved national certification for the first time, after conforming to the Guyana Standard GYS 170 “General requirements for the operation of a laboratory”.

The certificate along with the terms and conditions for the certification was formally presented to the utility on Monday, August 27, 2018 by Head of the Conformity Assessment department of the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS), Ms Rodlyn Semple.

Speaking at the simple but significant handing over ceremony in GWI’s Boardroom, Vlissengen road, the company’s Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles said the certification reassures the general public that processes are in place to monitor and verify the quality of the water produced and distributed by GWI.

According to him, it is important that the company is able to say whether or not its product is safe. He stressed that the utility has a responsibility to citizens to ensure that the water produced is safe, even as he noted that the laboratory’s certification takes the company to a different level in its operations.

Dr Van West-Charles said water quality has got to be a priority, as he pointed out that upon taking up his current post at GWI, one of his first initiatives was the creation of the Water Quality Department.

He commended the staff of the department for their hard work to ensure the achievement of the certification and also expressed gratitude to GWI’s Laboratory Consultant, Dr Karamchand Ramoutar for his guidance.

Meanwhile, GWI’s Head of Water Quality, Deon Anderson explained that the certification is a validation of the competence of the laboratory staff and appropriateness of GWI’s testing methods and protocols, as well as the laboratory’s ability to deliver reliable, accurate and precise information to customers.

According to him, just over one year ago, with support of the Corporate Management Team and the Laboratory Consultant, for the very first time, the company was able to develop a very rigorous quality control regime.

This included ensuring that the equipment used are appropriate, well calibrated on a daily basis and accuracy levels tested consistently and repeatedly, as well as ensuring that the testing methods are well developed and implemented.

Anderson said that certification is an ongoing system and the management and staff of GWI will continue to strive to meet the requirements of national and international standards.

He assured that Management and staff of GWI and Water Quality department are dedicated to delivering the highest quality services to customers with their satisfaction being the prime focus.

The Head of Water Quality explained that all tests are always carried out in accordance with the laboratory stated procedures or methods and customers’ requirements and it is always guaranteed that an uncompromised standard of service is provided where independent, unbiased, factual data are always provided.

GWI’s Laboratory Consultant, Dr Karamchand Ramoutar in his brief remarks noted that it has been a remarkable journey for GWI to get to the point of national certification. He gave high praise to the staff of the Water Quality laboratory, whom he said have been truly committed and motivated.

According to him, the Managing Director has driven the process, while he supported it and laboratory staff achieved the certification.

Meanwhile, Ms Rodlyn Semple of the GNBS also congratulated the management and staff of the GWI lab on their initial certification to GYS 170 as she revealed that the lab is the 14th lab that would have achieved this certification in Guyana.

She explained that the certification demonstrates that a laboratory, whether it is for testing or medical purposes, has implemented an effective system in its operation and guarantees that both the quality and technical aspects are fulfilled.

Ms Semple further stated that this also ensures that reliable testing and measurement services meet the needs of the customer or consumer and facilitates overall improvement in the laboratory as well as gives users added confidence that they are receiving quality.

In order to maintain certification, she pointed out, the lab will have to be re-evaluated over a 2 year period by trained assessors.

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