May 09, 2018 News
– says water used to be red in colour but now is green
Green water being paraded as treated water will definitely seem a prank to many.
But it is just such a situation that Mr. Arjoon Rambharrat of Lot 30 Chateau Margot, Pigeon Island, East Coast Demerara is faced with. Yesterday, he shared concerns about the quality of water he has been receiving for years.
Rambharrat brought a sample of green water, which he claims to have received, compliments of GWI, with the claim that it is treated water. The man said that he became aware of the level of contamination of his GWI water supply after he started using a filtration system.
Making reference to the green colouration of his water Rambharrat said, “I think it is fungus…it is green, it is in the water so germs has to be in it as well. This has to be highly, highly contaminated; it seems as if it is the trench water coming into the pipeline. This has made me asked the question, ‘Is GWI pumping water straight from the trench into the main?’
“Though the supply of water is regular and the pressure is excellent, the water is deadly…” complained Rambharrat.
The man said that he has, on a number of occasions, called GWI offices to share his concern but has to date gotten no favourable reaction. “I have been pushed around many times; I have called the East Coast Demerara office at Bachelor’s Adventure and they have done nothing, and I have called the main office – Shelter Belt [Vlissengen Road] and they keep saying that they are going to flush the system and there is going to be some improvements in the near future,” related Rambharrat.
But up to yesterday that near future had not reached. In fact, the only thing different that happened yesterday was Rambharrat’s visit to the GWI’s Shelter Belt office armed with a sample of the contaminated water. The man said that his visit there was to engage the company’s Operations Manager, Dwayne Shako, to whom he had spoken by telephone the day before.
Rambharrat said that he was asked to meet Shako at the Shelter Belt office at 07:30 hours yesterday but after waiting for three hours, the Operation Director was still a no-show. The man said he was only able to speak with a secretary.
“I got a whisper that the guy got a flu…I am guessing he got the flu suddenly because the person [Shako] I spoke to yesterday [Monday] did not sound like someone with the flu,” related Rambharrat.
Unwilling to leave without some form of satisfaction or promise of intervention by a senior personnel, Rambharrat said that he even asked to meet with the Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West Charles.
According to the man, who has been living at Pigeon Island for some 38 years, when he first received water connection back in the day, the water was very red suggestive of heavy iron content.
“It didn’t only have this film of iron at the top that discoloured the clothing [during washing] but it was of salty content and it would stink. I made several complaints to the water company about that then, to no avail too,” said a despondent Rambharrat as he lamented over the wanting quality of water he continues to receive.
About four years ago, he recalled that residents of Chateau Margot were beginning to see a rainbow at the end of the tunnel when reports surfaced that the water company had dug a new well at La Bonne Intention [LBI] because another well servicing the area was found to be leaking. This well, according to Rambharrat, was supposed to see residents benefitting from improved quality of water.
However, Rambharrat revealed that up to last year August, he found that the water quality had not improved. The man revealed that he became aware of the worrying quality of the water from the new well when a foul odour emerged whenever water flowed from any of his taps. This state of affairs, Rambharrat said, caused him to purchase the water filtration system, which he installed on the GWI pipeline leading to his home.
The man said, too, that while the filtration system cost him a sum of $10,000, because of the state of the water he is forced to buy new filters [at $400 each] every fortnight to ensure his family benefits from a decent quality of water.
When asked how he is able to determine when to change filters, Rambharrat said he gauges the system and becomes alert when “the water scent becomes stink.”
But Rambharrat has no intention to cease complaining until moves are made to address the dilemma he is faced with.
“I have invested a lot of money to purify my water and it is unfair for me to keep paying $13,000 for water for the year as a metered customer.”
Rambharrat added, too, “The way I hear it, residents in Mon Repos and residents in Better Hope are receiving treated water and I am not aware that any treatment is done at the LBI well.”
Based on his knowledge the well at LBI caters to his community [Chateau Margot], LBI and Success village.
Convinced that “the GWI is not paying any attention to its customers,” Rambharrat yesterday filed a complaint at the Public Utilities Commission [PUC]. However, the man disclosed that he is not pleased with the response from that entity too.
“I lodged a complaint there but it was sad. These institutions that are there to look after the interest of the people they are not equipped because to my surprise I took this evidence [water sample] and they don’t even have a camera to take a photograph as evidence,” Rambharrat opined.
When contacted for a comment, GWI’s Public Relations Officer, Ms. Leanna Bradshaw confirmed that Rambharrat’s concerns are indeed legitimate.
She explained that the LBI well, which is treated with SeaQuest, serves Pigeon Island and other surrounding areas along the East Coast of Demerara. She however noted that the said well is currently under maintenance to ensure customers a continuous supply.
She informed that a standby well at Success was activated. “This may have contributed to a reduced quality of water.”
She said, “After seeing the customer’s filter, GWI technical officials believe another contributing factor to the reduction in quality could be a breach somewhere along the distribution network.” To aid in addressing the situation in the interim, Bradshaw informed that GWI has since installed two flush out valves along the distribution network.
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