Mon | Jan 21, 2019

NWC leaking money in Smokeyvale

Published:Saturday | February 14, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Water leaks from a main in Smokeyvale.

It is now over a week since the National Water Commission (NWC) was first contacted in respect of a broken main on West Bellevue Drive in Smokeyvale. The situation has still not been rectified.

While this leak is not as big some of the others we are familiar with in the area, the US Environmental Planning Agency reports that a faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year, and a leaking toilet more than 40,000 gallons per month. There is no way for me to estimate the water loss, but based on these comparables and the water flow, it has to be in the tens of thousands of gallons.

Repeated calls to the NWC Customer Care have borne no fruit. Agents' responses are rehearsed and devoid of anything useful. Is there a procedure for escalating these matters?


sad and painful


It is really quite sad, painful even, as the Smokeyvale area is susceptible to such frequent water lock-offs. Imagine the discontent of not having water for washing or other sanitary purposes when so much water is consistently wasted.

The irony of it all is that it appears, based on personal observation, that it is the very lock-offs that lead to the broken mains - when water is turned back on after one of these lock-offs, it returns with such a high pressure that there is usually at least one broken main in the area, not to mention the damage to pipes and faucets inside private residences.

During the Christmas period, there was a huge leak on the same West Bellevue Drive, which took more than 10 days to be addressed. This particular leak was not as small as the one we are experiencing now, but the kind that results in a flood downhill similar to that of torrential rainfall.

I believe if a proper study were to be conducted, it would show that water lost from the broken mains is far greater than the water that is saved from the lock-offs.

I am, therefore, pleading with the authorities to fix the broken mains in a timely manner once reported, be prepared to carry out emergency maintenance subsequent to water lock-offs, or perhaps discontinue water lock-offs in this area if there are no available resources to address the broken mains.


Andrena McMayo -