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Community : Grand Bahama Last Updated: Aug 31, 2020 - 10:48:30 AM


Grand Bahama Utility advises of regulatory approval for potable water in several additional communities
By Grand Bahama Utility Company Limited
Aug 31, 2020 - 10:40:17 AM

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Freeport, Grand Bahama: One month after its most recent update to the public on its progress to return water potability to Grand Bahama residents island-wide, the Grand Bahama Utility Company (GBUC) has received regulatory approval that deems 70% of the island’s water safe to drink.

Following the devastation of Hurricane Dorian, which inundated the majority of GBUC’s wellfields with salt water, the utility has worked to repair and rebuild its infrastructure. “Following significant revisions to our rebuild plan and capital investments of over $5 million, we are now on a sure path to full potability for Grand Bahama,” said Ms. Philcher Grant, Director of Operations, GBUC. “Reaching potability, which requires a high standard of testing for purity and consistency as established by the World Health Organization [WHO], means the water from your tap is safe for all uses, including drinking and cooking.

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“We know that the impacts of climate change, including more significant storm activity such as we are seeing this year, will continue to challenge our natural resources,” continued Ms. Grant. “Our efforts today must not only restore water potability, but also ensure a reliable, storm-hardy system that can withstand and quickly recover from future storm events.”

GBUC’s $5 million investment includes a three million gallon Reverse Osmosis (RO) system and a new water plant pumping station and wellfield. As a measure of preparedness for the impacts of storms, its RO system will be portable to ensure equipment can be moved to limit the chance of damage due to flooding or high winds.

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“We continue to repair damaged infrastructure, replace equipment, and drill and commission new wells as we progress in restoring water potability,” said Remington Wilchcombe, GBUC Engineering Manager. “We’ve also advanced our Reverse Osmosis investment, finalized the design, and have undertaken surveying for construction and installation. Since our late July update to customers, we can confirm that a number of additional areas of the island are now receiving fully potable, tested and safe drinking water.”

The Environmental Section of The Building and Development Services Department (BDS) of the Grand Bahama Port Authority (GBPA) is responsible to ensure GBUC is delivering water that meets WHO standards. According to Nakira Wilchcombe, Director of the Building Department, “The GBUC has undergone rigorous testing of water quality, and potability is confirmed only when the water has consistently met WHO standards and is confirmed by an independent lab.  As regulator, the GBPA is satisfied that those areas identified are now receiving water that is considered potable.”

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