Aug 13, 2012 Letters Comments Off on It takes more than functioning fire hydrants for effective firefighting!
I do hope that this letter receives your attention and is published, so that the general public can be duly edified about the above caption. Since as strange as it may seem, my undertaking is based from my previous experience as a former employee of the then Georgetown Sewerage & Water Commissioners (G.S&W.C) spanning a period of 7 years (1979-1986), in the Treatment Plant, as a “B Plant Operator”.
So, within this context I can openly say that I am fully aware and versed about Water Treatment, and in most instances when discoloration of water occurs. I wonder if the Treatment Plant Operators are required to submit a written statement, outside the ambits of the normal Shift Report, which was the standard procedure during my time of employ. Additionally, is water tests (colour) still conducted on an hourly basis? Again standard procedure during my time of employment!
Meanwhile and most importantly the Treatment Plant, must be duly informed firstly, in the event of a fire. Since based upon calculations from the present readings, the senior operator would inform the Pump Station Attendant, of an increase in the outflow of water. I.e. 20-30 lbs, unless the system has changed! Importantly, depending upon the location of the fire, valves may have to be shut down to increase the required flow of water in a specific direction.
However, are these valves functioning, albeit, the fire hydrants? At this juncture the Water Mains Department comes into action! Does an emergency crew exist in the event of a fire? If not, then one should be reactivated, since the primitive system of manual labour to regulate valves would be an additional “recipe for a disaster”.
Finally, while I would agree to an extent with His Worship, Mayor, Hamilton Green that the ownership of fire Hydrants is important, the other factors that I have stated, in my opinion, are more important.
And most importantly cost factor must be taken into serious consideration. This comes against the backdrop that the “visionless and voiceless GWI” instead of wasting scarce money on a jingle “Water is Life” ought to undertake a comprehensive study towards significantly aiding fire-fighting. This must also entail the cost of filtered/potable water per gallon, in firefighting, as against clarified water (slightly discoloured) and always available in a larger volume. Surely it doesn’t need rocket science to ascertain the need for an 8-12 “gate valve between the clarified and filtered water chambers, towards maintaining the required amount of pressure for outflow. Mind you this project that was undertaken came to an abrupt halt during my tenure.
Maybe former Chief Engineer, Mr. David Dewar can be useful as a consultant to spearhead the comprehensive study with adequate financial remunerations!
Nevertheless what the Mayor should also address is the waste water from washing of filters on a nightly basis. In addition to the desludging process though not frequently. They both end up in the city’s drainage system which is evident in the Church and Irving Streets canals. Can it not be drained via the sewerage system?
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