GWI announces major upgrades for Linden water treatment plants

─ Covent Garden, Grove plants to become fully functional

Residents of Linden, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) can expect improved water supply in the new year, as the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) plans to execute major upgrades and maintenance works to the five existing water treatment plants in that region.

GWI Chief Executive Officer Shaik Baksh

GWI’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Shaik Baksh related that the Mackenzie, West Watooka, Amelia’s Ward and Wisroc water treatment plants were functioning at reduced capacity.
“We have five water treatment plants in Linden alone and there is a problem there…because nothing has been done in Linden over the last five years to upgrade and maintain the systems,” he told the Department of Public Information (DPI) in a recent interview.
Baksh stated that funds for those works were included in the 2021 National Budget. “We have to upgrade the water treatment plants before they collapse,” he added.
The CEO added that works would also be done at water treatment plants at Covent Garden and Grove on the East Bank of Demerara. Those plants have not been fully functional over the past three years.
Upgrades were done to the Eccles plant during the latter part of 2020. Baksh said the residents were now receiving treated water through their taps and there have been minimal complaints from those areas.
“The plants were not operating as treatment plants: that is Eccles, Covent Garden and Grove. Actually, raw water was coming through those plants. Also, the water was treated by a chemical known as Sequest and we have discontinued that because it is a huge cost. This Sequest to treat iron content in the water cost this utility over four years, $1.8 billion, and we are now flushing the wells and there are minimum complaints,” Baksh explained.
Works would also be done to improve water quality at the wells in the Essequibo Islands.
These projects, Baksh posited, are part of GWI’s overall plan to provide 80 per cent access to treated water by 2025, in keeping with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standard of 0.3 milligrams per litre of iron content or less.
Currently, 96 per cent of Guyana’s population has access to water; however, the treated water coverage that meets the WHO standard is only 52 per cent from a total of 27 water treatment plants.
Therefore, the Government plans to construct new water treatment facilities to meet the standard and to improve and expand the transmission and distribution network to maximise coverage from existing treatment plants. There are also plans to install water meters to monitor and control demand and increase revenue.