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JIS News

With the National Water Commission (NWC) feeling the brunt of the many illegal connections to its water network, adding to escalating operational costs, Communications Manager at the NWC, Charles Buchanan, has condemned water thieves.
Mr. Buchanan told JIS News that these illegal practices were affecting the NWC in several ways, and implored the public to assist the Commission in stemming the problem.
Firstly, he pointed out that illegal connections denied the NWC of revenue that could greatly assist improved service to legitimate customers.
In the second instance, Mr. Buchanan said the action was, “a serious drag on the Commission, in that it compromises the NWC’s infrastructure, reduces the pressure in our pipelines [and] increases the amount of water that is lost, because when people illegally connect and the water leaks away, they are not concerned about that, because they are not paying for it”.
Mr. Buchanan told JIS News that when breaches were made into water pipes, it compromised the quality of drinking water as the breaks were potential entry points for bacteria and other micro-organisms.
Assuring legal customers that this would not necessarily affect the safety of their drinking water, Mr. Buchanan said, “we have what is called residual chlorine, which is required to be in the pipe, so that is the safeguard”.
“We are fairly confident from all the tests we do at the customer point. One of the criteria our water quality is judged by, is the level of residual chlorine which is found at the point of customer use,” he pointed out.
The Communications Manager said he was appealing to social conscience and urged legal customers to assist the water company in identifying illegal connections, as they were at a disadvantage. He said customers could call the NWC’s hotline at 1-888-225-5692 to report theft.
Mr. Buchanan further decried community members who protected persons who were stealing water.
“Unfortunately, in some communities we have to go in there with the police and private security personnel, because of the threat to the Commission’s employees when we do the right thing and go after illegal connections,” he said.