BWA hoping to minimise holiday disruptions
The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) says every effort will be made to minimise disruptions during the Christmas holiday.
Last year, thousands of people, mainly in the central and northern parts of Barbados were without water during the holiday season.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams, gave the assurance, while speaking during a press briefing to highlight the agreements and benefits from a negotiated deal between BWA and the Innotech Group of Companies, which was spearheaded by chairman Leodean Worrell.
In response to a question on the supply of water during the Christmas holiday, Abrahams stated: “I can’t assure people that you’re not going to have any dry taps during the season, what I can assure you is that where the dry taps do occur, we will be putting 100 per cent of our efforts towards minimising disruptions to people over the period.”
He added that the packaged desalination plant at Hope Plantation, St Lucy, was back online, and as a result, the Authority would not have to use water trucks to service that parish.
“There is a commitment to refill the community tanks every single day during the season, so if the worst happens, at least there should be water somewhere near you that you can pull from. That’s the commitment that I can give you; I can’t give you any assurance pass that,” Abrahams said.
Stating that he was pleased that the Hope plant was back online before St Lucy started its month of We Gatherin’ activities, the Minister said the BWA had worked feverishly to do so, and thanked the staff as well as Ionics Freshwater Ltd., pointing out that the issue at the plant was something that normally would have taken significantly longer to resolve.
BWA’s general manager, Keithroy Halliday, said there were some key differences from the way they were distributing water this year compared to last year and “with the expansion of Ionics we were able to push an additional three million [gallons] into the distribution system that feeds to Shop Hill, Lancaster, Apes Hill and gets into the Castle Grant area in St Joseph.
“So, whatever happens, we know that we have additional water being supplied into the St Joseph area. The challenges that we have are age-old which is that we may have burst mains, and that is what typically creates outages for us now.”
BWA’s Director of Engineering, Charles Leslie, also gave an update on the Hampton pumping station, stating that between December 4 and 11, technicians out of Panama were able to repair nine out of the 10 Variable Frequency Drives and four pumps damaged during the power outages in November. He also noted as a result of the repairs that Hampton pumping station was almost back to full capacity. (BGIS)