– recent damage to Cemetery Road main highlights challenges
Guyana Water Inc.Managing Director, Dr. Richard Van West-Charles says that there are discussions with the Ministries of Communities and Finance concerning replacement of city’s network, where some pipelines are over a century old.
“We have highlighted the issues of the aged network within the Capital City and we have received the approval of the supplementary provision in which we are going to be replacing lines in Church Street and Vlissengen Road,” Dr. Van West-Charles, a Department of Public Information (DPI) quoted the GWI official as saying.
He made the comments in the wake of the recent damage to a 14-inch main near Cemetery Road.
This resulted in city residents having to endure several hours without potable water.
The Guyana Fire Service’s Georgetown operations were severely affected. An official said that staffers were forced to access water from the GWI wells at Sophia, South Ruimveldt, Farm, East Bank Demerara and Melanie, East Coast Demerara.
However, water pressure was back to normal by yesterday afternoon.
An official at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) said that the services at the institution were not affected. He explained that the GPHC has several water tanks for such emergencies.
The main was said to have been installed since 1902. GWI technicians were forced to work round the clock to remedy the situation.
According to the DPI, GWI’s, Executive Director of Operations, Dwayne Shako
said that the breakage occurred over a large canal.
“We could not have reached the breakage because the water in the Canal is higher than the pipes. For us to carry out the repairs, we had to create two dams or revetments. This way we were able to stop the water that has been pumped out, on both sides of the lines, to conduct a proper assessment.”
The Executive Director of Operations also explained that the city’s network spans from Turkeyen to Agricola and is interlinked allowing for servicing of more than one community at a time.
He noted that the downside to the interconnectivity is that in the event of a break GWI has to shut down the water service to several areas, to effect repairs
“We had to shut down Turkeyen which means that Cummings Lodge area would be out of water, North Ruimveldt, Festival City, Sophia Plant, Central Plant and Kingston. So, the entire Georgetown was out because it takes about eight hours for the network to depressurise in Georgetown.”
There were several breakages on Vlissengen Road and Church Street, Georgetown. However, the Agency received resources to purchase new HDP Pipes, which will be replaced.
In the 2020 Budget, there will be a replacement of the transmission line for Cemetery Road, Georgetown, since the area is a critical artery for the supply of water to the City. Other areas in the City, such as Kitty, Kingston and Albouystown will get lines replacement after the operation is executed at Cemetery Road, Georgetown.
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