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$50,000 Report Urges Wsc To Close Contract Loophole

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Bradley Roberts

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

TWO foreign consultants hired to conduct a forensic audit of Nassau’s “rusty water woes” at a cost of $50,000 have issued their report to government.

In announcing the findings, outgoing chairman of the Water and Sewage Corporation Bradley Roberts said earlier efforts to deal with the rusty water issues failed because of a loophole, which has been discovered by the new consultants – IanWatson of RosTek Associaties and Steven Duranceau Consulting Services, LLC.

According to Mr Roberts, a critical amendment was made to the Baillou Hills Plant expansion contract which allowed the contractor to reduce water quality requirements that were extremely significant, particularly to the question of how corrosive the water supply was.

Water corrosivity is a cause of rusty supply to households.

Mr Roberts said the report also highlights that the corporation’s management was aware of the removal of this vital requirement “but the auditors could not confirm if they (management) were aware of the implications of moving it. However, there is nothing on record to show that any objections were lodged.”

Explaining that the decision came before his time, Mr Roberts did not say when it was made or who was in charge of the corporation at the time.

In its key findings, the consultants’ report notes that “prior to the introduction of desalinated seawater in 2006, ground water was barged from Andros and there is little doubt that the use of this water for many years caused a significant build-up of scale on the inside of the distribution piping.”
The report says that the water was “mildly brackish, and contained considerable calcium hardness and bicarbonate alkalinity.”

It adds that “since the commissioning of Baillou Hills 1 reverse osmosis plant, WSC has been plagued with red water complaints and the red water complaints that started with the startup of Baillou Hills RO are almost certainly the result of re-solution of the internal pipe deposits built up over time by the barged water.”
The report also notes that when the expansion came on line in late 2011, coinciding with the end of barged water from the Arawak Key pump station, the number and severity of the complaints increased dramatically.

“At that time, the aggressive post treated desalinated water was being distributed in the old distribution system in Nassau, where it not only started re-dissolving the scale, but also corroded the exposed ferrous piping,” it said.

The report also said that unless the water produced at Baillou Hills is properly stabilised, the red water issue will remain.

The consultants recommend that pipe replacement should continue where replacement occurs in those areas that have recurrent red water complaints and improved management of post-treatment operations is required.
They also recommend a “focus on improving and maintaining constant pH and on providing adequate alkalinity as the primary distribution system water quality objectives.”

Comments

rory 6 years, 2 months ago

Amazing waste of money on yet more foreign so called "companies". RosTek Associaties and Duranceau Consulting Services, LLC are not even found on google. Did the clowns in our government even check to see what these "consultants" were about before they paid them an outrageous sum of money? LLC usually indicates BULL$HIT. Thankyou PEE ELLE PEE for ripping off the Bahamian Citizens and treating us like stupid dumb animals, we appreciate your worthless leadership, you dumb stupid fks.

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newcitizen 6 years, 2 months ago

You're more interested in complaining about who did the consulting than what they found? The current water plant standard needs to be updated to stop causing damage to the system and distributing dirty water and that is what this report identified.

Stop complaining about foreign companies and start demanding better service from our own government. Fix the water!

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newcitizen 6 years, 2 months ago

Is this report publicly available anywhere?

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B_I_D___ 6 years, 2 months ago

Rory's rant aside, it is very interesting how water works...particularly RO water. While it is a nice concept to have purified RO water, the water itself is way out of balance, water needs certain mineral content, so when you strip that away during the RO process it will find minerals where it needs to to try to restabilize itself, in this case it is going after years of scale buildup and old metal pipes. RO water in you house is a menace as it eats away at all the internals of your faucets causing faster wear and tear and repair or replacement. Just on the pure science side very interesting. Worth 50K though...nah.

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proudloudandfnm 6 years, 2 months ago

No man! They cannot be serious! They hired a foreign company to tell us Nassau's water pipes are rusty?!?!? Vell muddoes!!!! Les waste some more money now please? Funny thing is they aint ga fix it.

A part of the road project overrun was changing existing pipes. FNM got blasted for the overrun. Imagine how they would have gotten hung had they decided to go ahead and change all the pipes in Nassau!?

Think the PLP ga dig em up and change em?

Doubtful.....

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proudloudandfnm 6 years, 2 months ago

I don't even think they'll find actual pipes in some parts of Nassau. Eastern road for instance, I used to change my filters about every two weeks. Had to, they were useless by then. Say they hired a foreign firm. Man all I could say is wow!

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proudloudandfnm 6 years, 2 months ago

Mrs. Carron, I know you are aware of the water problems out east and how long it's been going on. I hope to see an editorial from you on this. I know you can see what a waste of money this is.

This isuue can create jobs, Bahamian contractors can pull the pipes and replace them. This could be a long term contract for a number of Bahamian contractors. JOBS!!!! Would have been better to just start up a pipe replacement program, they know which pipes were changed during the much needed road improvement project. Simply devise a plan to replace the rest. Nice, steady work for years. Sorely needed as well.

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