The Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) has launched a “Water Tankering Guidelines” to help monitor the services of water tanker operators in the Accra Metropolis.
The Water Tanker Service Guidelines is expected to regulate the quality of water supplied to consumers and bring safety, efficiency and reliability in the tanker services distribution network, which is an important link in water distribution in the country.
The guideline service is part of the PURC's commitment to the development and delivery of the highest quality of utility services to all consumers.
The Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface said water is a source of security and must not be tampered with.
“I see water as a security item. It's a security item”, he said.
He urged water tanker operators to operate in a more hygienic way, help preserve and provide quality water to the consuming public.
The hygienic and quality of wholesomeness of water tanker operators, he said, should not be underestimated because they are the only source of water supply when pipelines don't flow.
When water is from unhealthy source, the consuming public end up being exposed to the infection of any water-borne diseases, he said.
He charged all water tanker operators to make the guidelines a working document in the fight against acute water shortage in the country.
Alhaji Saddique Boniface condemned activities of illegal connections of pipelines to houses, especially by sachet water suppliers and said such act affect the pace at which water flows in homes.
He said the rate at which water is being siphoned away from the main distribution lines is not helping the situation.
He said people go to extent of using clean water which could have been used for domestic purposes, for irrigation projects.
These people, he said, later turn round accusing the government of not leaving up to its expectations. “Such a person doesn't fear God. He's wicked and inhuman”, he said.
A representative of the Private Water Tanker Operators Association (PWTOA), Commander Addo called on the PURC, the Ghana Water Company and AVRL to help check and regulate the activities of all underground water tanker operators without certified license.
Mr. Seth Tagoe, a representative of Teshie Residents Association said most of the water supplied to consumers by water tanker operators is unwholesome because it is from unidentified and undisclosed sources.
“We should ascertain the quality of water and its sources before bringing it to the consumers”, he said.
The PURC Act 538 mandates the Commission to regulate urban water tariff as well as quality of service delivery.
Presently, there are about 1000 water tankers in the Accra/Tema Metropolis. An already existence code of ethics between the Ghana Water Company Limited and Tanker owners has facilitated the delivery of water through this process to a certain extent.
The proliferation of tanker services due to the inadequacy of water supply has made the activities of tanker owners largely unsupervised.