Major upgrades to Linden water treatment plants this year

Covent Garden, Grove plants to become fully functional

Residents of Linden, Region 10 can expect improved water supply this year, as the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) plans to execute major upgrades and maintenance works to the five water treatment plants in that area.

Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Water Incorporated, Mr. Shaik Baksh

GWI’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Shaik Baksh said currently, the Mackenzie, West Watooka, Amelia’s Ward and Wisroc water treatment plants are 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 in a recent interview.

The CEO said funds for those works were included in the 2021 National Budget.  “We have to upgrade the water treatment plants before they collapse,” he added.  

Mr. Baksh said works would also be done at water treatment plants at Covent Garden and Grove, East Bank Demerara. Those plants have not been fully functional over the last three years.  

Upgrades were done to the Eccles plant during the latter part of 2020. Mr. Baksh said the residents are 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 they are minimum complaints,” Mr. Baksh explained.

Works would also be done to improve water quality at the wells in the Essequibo Islands.

These projects, Mr. Baksh said, are part of GWI’s overall plan to provide 80 per cent access to treated water by 2025, in keeping with World Health Organization (WHO) standard of 0.3 milligrams per litres 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, control demand and increase revenue.