Home News Samples being tested for lead, mercury, arsenic – GWI
Port Kaituma River contamination
Days after the Guyana Water Inc stopped residents from using water from the Port Kaituma River, Region One (Barima-Waini), Public Relations Officer Leana Bradshaw related that water samples were taken at different points in the river and are being tested for heavy metals such as lead, mercury and arsenic.
A toxicity analysis was also conducted to determine whether the contamination resulted from mining discharges or from other sources.
According to Bradshaw, the water quality results will be available within a week. She said that efforts are also being made to collaborate with the Fisheries Department to perform a toxicology analysis on any dead fish found in the river to further analyse the situation.
Bradshaw pointed out that as it relates to alternative solutions, there is potable water available via a dispensing unit in the compound of the well station which was communicated via a public advisory. Additionally, technicians are working to activate a well that will provide added relief to residents.
“GWI is also working to drill additional wells so as to ensure groundwater is the main source of water supply for the community as we seek to transition from extensive use of surface water,” she said.
Residents of Port Kaituma, have been fuming over the lack of water supply in their community as a result of the prolonged dry weather. The residents who reached out to Guyana Times had related that they are forced to walk several miles to the only operational water source in the community and fetch water for their daily consumption.
The only alternative source of water available to them is the river which is no longer safe since GWI halted the pumping of water from that source due to possible contamination.
The company in an advertisement on Sunday last had advised residents in Port Kaituma to desist from using the river water following the discovery of possible contamination.
The company noted that samples have been collected and will be sent for testing both locally and overseas and the results of those tests will determine the way forward.
Meanwhile, residents said that this source of water is not adequate to service the entire community and residents of the outlying areas have difficulty in accessing that source.
“We were using the river alone because that water source they advising people to use is far away from where we living. Is months of dry weather and residents are complaining all the time but nothing is being done. GWI is doing nothing for us here. The springs are dry. No pumping could be done. We are suffering here for basic water,” Trevor De Costa, a resident, told Guyana Times.
The dry weather season continues to affect residents and farmers in hinterland communities throughout the country. Residents of Region One have been complaining of the negative impacts of the lack of access to potable water. Residents and farmers said enough is not being done by the water company to offer substantial relief.