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07.10.2008 General News

Water meter shop refurbished

By The Statesman

Aqua Vitens Rand Limited, management contractor for Ghana Water Company Limited, has refurbished and modernised the age-old Meter shop that was constructed in the 1960s to ensure fair calculation and distribution of water to consumers.

The meter plants have been redesigned to install, replace, repair, and issue new meters to customers of Ghana Water Company to allow fair calculation and equitable distribution of water in a sanitised manner.

It consists of an electronic department that automatically services and monitors the operating machines, and a meter assembly section that repairs and assembles the meters for distribution.

This was made known by the Managing Director of the company, Andrew Barber, at the official launch of the Meter Shop in Accra yesterday. He said the objective of the company was to position itself in a manner that would enable it account for every liter of water that is pumped from the reservoir to consumers. This, he said, could only be done through the use of reliable meters that are also in good conditions.

He said through such reliable meters, consumers as well as AVRL officials would be able to fairly calculate the volumes or quantity of water they use by the end of the month. "The motive behind the introduction of the meter workshop is to have a mechanism to replace all broken-down meters in the system and ensure good calculation of water distribution', he said.

The chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission, Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, who chaired the ceremony, noted that the ceremony was about 42 years late due to systemic failures and injustice that some ignorant people had meted out to the country and its inhabitants.

He said the meter shop was first established in the 1960s when the Kpone Water Treatment Plant was developed in the Eastern Region. 'It operated for 15 years and folded up. It was revitalized in 1996 but folded up again for various reasons', he said.

'The Meter Plant has come at a good time because it will enable the operators to know the rate of water distributed to consumers and help them retrieve their bills accurately to cut down distribution losses.

It is estimated that the Ghana Water Company is unable to account for 50% of water produced and distributed. On top of that, 60 thousand meters operating in Ghana are said to be in poor working condition and malfunctioning.

As a result, the company has began replacing all 60,000 faulty meters in the system with new ones to create sanity in the distribution trend. It is also aimed at introducing the meters to new communities to ensure fair and equitable distribution of water and bills. The exercise is expected to last for almost a year, according to Theo Smith, General Manager in-charge of Distribution.

The company has also embarked on a continuous replacement of water distribution pipelines that were installed several decades ago. These old pipes, according to Joe Tettevi, Tema Central District Manager of AVRL, account for the loss of treated water and also contributes to contamination of treated water, hence the decision to replace them.