Tue | Apr 7, 2020

‘Bear with us’ – Barnett asks NWC customers to be patient

Published:Tuesday | May 22, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Norman Grindley/Chief Photo Editor The National Water Commission (NWC) is on a drive to repair old and broken water main in the Corporate Area. This section on Duke Street in downtown Kingston has been dug up in preparation for work to begin.

As the National Water Commission (NWC) makes strides in Kingston and St Andrew to reduce its non-revenue water (NRW) losses, its president, Mark Barnett, has appealed to customers to be more understanding,as water disruptions were inevitable.

"My appeal is for those who are affected to bear with us. The long-term goal and vision of the NWC is to make the service that you are getting better. However, in getting there, there will be unavoidable disruptions. It just comes with the nature of the work," Barnett said last Friday during a press conference at the NWC's corporate offices in New Kingston.

NRW losses, according to Barnett, were the most significant threat to the company's future viability. He said that the NWC was working to reduce non-revenue water in the Corporate Area by 50 per cent.

The NWC's non-revenue water reduction programme is being carried out with co-management partner Miya International at a cost of US$42.5 million (J$5.7 billion) for a five-year period.

Barnett said that, to date, the commission had replaced 750 valves in the network and another 1,400 valves were to be replaced in the Corporate Area. He said that the installation of valves helped to limit the areas that might be impacted when there was a disruption of water supply.

"We create discrete metering areas and we create pressure-management zones," he disclosed. "Within a pressure-management zone, you have a discrete metering area, and when we have a disruption in a particular area or street, it can be easily isolated, rather than us having full disruption of service to a wide cross section of our customer base."

Barnett also reported that more than 5,000 leaks had been repaired under the Kingston and St Andrew NRW reduction programme.