Oct 02, 2022 News
– to ensure safe water is provided to citizens countrywide
Kaieteur News – The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), the nation’s largest supplier of water, is responsible for the delivery of water to the suburban, rural and the hinterland regions, excluding Linden and some areas supplied by the sugar industry. Under the tagline “Water is life…save it!” – the company recognises the importance of water to life and works to provide the commodity. However, what is even more important is the delivery of treated water which is free from contaminants and undesirable components for human consumption or use.
To guarantee accurate test results and to protect Guyanese from waterborne diseases and illnesses, the nation’s main water supplier achieved certification of its Testing Laboratory from the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) in 2018. The GWI Laboratory is certified to the Guyana Standard GYS170:2009 – General Requirements for the operation of a laboratory. The Standard provides guidance on the development and maintenance of a thorough management system which allows for the provision of accurate and reliable test results that influence other measures.
The GWI Laboratory maintains it place amongst the 24 testing and clinical laboratories currently certified to the national standard. The GNBS Laboratory Certification Programme is a voluntary programme that allows the laboratories’ management teams to demonstrate conformance to standard through certification. On August 31, 2022, the laboratory was recertified for maintaining the requirements of the Standard.
The Technical Lead at the GWI’s Water Quality Department, Mr. Mark Verasammy noted that the laboratory sought certification to improve confidence in the results emanating from the facility.
“We wanted to improve our marketability and boost our reputation as a testing lab in Guyana. For the certification, it made us a reliable source for testing and when we put out results, we can guarantee that it’s valid and we can stand by it, because we follow the National Standard,” he explained.
The GWI Testing Laboratory was established over two decades ago and conducts water quality testing not only for the company but other clients. Currently, the facility offers 20 chemistry and two microbiology tests to a growing number of clients.
According to Mr. Veerasammy, these tests are conducted to ensure that the quality of water supplied to the citizens meets the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) drinking water guidelines. “We monitor all these parameters according to the WHO’s drinking water guidelines, so we know that we are supplying water of a standard and specific quality,” he noted.
In explaining the operation of the laboratory, the GWI Technical Lead pointed out that tests are conducted at the laboratory but once an issue is detected, further tests are done on samples acquired from persons’ homes and at the various treatment plants to determine next steps.
Mr. Veerasammy also mentioned that while the initial processes to attain certification were challenging, maintaining the requirements was not as difficult. “All of the staff are trained now, and they know what they need to do, making it easier to achieve recertification to the national standard,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Head, Water Quality (Ag.) at GWI, Mr. Avinash Parsram disclosed that the company is looking to increase its scope of certification in the coming year.
“…one of the things that we would like to work on is expanding our scope because we find ourselves in a position where many requests from external agencies, boats that are working along in the oil industry and so forth, are asking for water quality analyses and being the premier water quality laboratory in the country, we have a mandate to fulfill the need to properly assess any water sample that we are presented with. In light of that, I’d like for us (GWI Lab) to expand the scope and those measures will be put in place,” Mr. Parsram expounded.
The management of the laboratory is encouraging other companies to pursue certification of their laboratories under the GNBS Laboratory Certification Programme, noting that this will not only help the company improve performance but also boost their recognition in their field of work.
To access information on GNBS Certification programmes, companies can visit the GNBS website: www.gnbsgy.org, or contact the GNBS on telephone numbers: 219-0064-66. They can also visit the GNBS Facebook and Instagram pages for regular updates or WhatsApp the Bureau on 692-4627. (A GNBS feature)
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