Approximately 18 defective wells across the country are currently being rectified. The targeted wells are those that were drilled and encased with carbon steel casings within the last five years.
Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) Guyana Water Incorporated, (GWI) Dr. Richard Van West -Charles said that the carbon steel casings in these wells are corroding at an alarming rate, and are causing major issues in the wells. They are also a challenge for the new administration.
A GWI well
“These are the challenges and the legacies that we inherited, in terms of the carbon steel casings. These wells actually should have had a life of 25 years average, but within one or two years we are encountering these difficulties,” Dr. Van West- Charles said.
He explained that wells encased with carbon steel sleeves are not the most suitable for Guyana. “Our soil in certain areas is very acidic, the PH is low, so that interacts with the carbon steel and more so if the carbon steel is of an inferior quality, it makes matter worst,” he said.
The GWI, CEO also said he suspects that the carbon steel that was purchased for use on the 18 wells are of an inferior quality, “because we have a well at Fyrish, Corentyne that has carbon steel and is probably more than 50 years old,” he said.
At present, the water company is moving to re-sleeve the wells with more suitable materials such as PolyVinyl Chloride (PVC-synthetic plastic), stainless steel, or deepening on the depth of the well, the CEO said.
“In our scenario, the wells that are standing up are basically the stainless steel, the fibre glass and as we know the PVC,” he said. Dr Van West-Charles added that (PV) is what is commonly used in Suriname, by the Dutch in the Netherlands, and in some parts of the US.
Chief Executive Officer, Guyana Water Incorporated, Dr. Richard Van West – Charles.
Importantly the GWI, CEO noted that using the PVC method is cheaper. “So we are looking at all of these things in going forward to ensure that we can do more, because we want to respond to our mission (of providing quality water supply) so we have to go through an analysis of all of the communities, to ensure that they have access to water, and basically we have to examine both the surface water and the ground water,” he said.
The wells affected include Diamond, Eccles and Tuschen, Vergenoegen and Hope wells. Re-sleeving the wells is expected to cost in excess of $200 million.