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26.02.2009 General News

AVRL, NGO to seek legislation on water closet importation


Aqua Vitens Rand Limited (AVRL), operators of the urban water system and Wisewater Foundation, a non-governmental organization, on Wednesday said they would seek legislation to enjoin importers of water closets (WC) to import only six-litre WCs instead of the 12.5-litre wcs on the market.

Mr Emmanuel Marquaye, Chairman of Wisewater, told journalists that the move was part of measures to ultimately reduce water wastage by 30 per cent.

He said even though six litres of water were enough to flush the WC, most homes and institutions used 12.5-litre WCs, which led to the wastage of at least 6.5 litres of potable water per every flush.

“We are therefore seeking a legislation to ensure that importers of WCs only bring six-litre WCs into the country,” he said.

He made the remark during field trip for students of Accra Girls and Aquinas Senior High Schools to Weija Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), which is part of a project dubbed: “Water For All Education Project”, jointly instituted by AVRL and Wisewater to sensitize the public on how to use water judiciously.

The project is targeted at schools, ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), water vendors, hotels, plumbers and car washing bays and commercial buildings.

Mr Marquaye said a water audit carried out at some 15 Senior High Schools (SHS), hotels and commercial buildings revealed that consumers could save 30 per cent of water with education on water use efficiency.

“We have entreated the schools in particular to replace their 12.5-litre WCs with six-litre ones and also to replace their high flow showers with low flow ones,” he said.

He said use of high flow showers, which facilitated water wastage, was also discovered at most of the hotels audited, adding that leakages, illegal and bypass connections, among others things, were also discovered as part of the cause of water wastage.

During the field trip, Mr Hadisu Alhassan, Chemist at the WWTP, said it was impossible for unwholesome or dirty water to be pumped from the treatment plant to the public because the of the rigorous water treatment process.

He said water went through screening, aeration, coagulation and flocculation, filtration, disinfection, PH adjustment (to remove sour taste), storage before pumping, adding that at each of the stages, all solid, liquid and gas contaminants are “meticulously” removed.

Mr Alhassan said the plant also ran a back-up laboratory that monitored the treatment process at every stage to ensure that water was delivered to the public in its purest form, adding that contamination could only occur through breakages in underground and surface pipes in the distribution lines.

“In anticipation of possible breakages down the distribution chain, we put extra chlorine into the water at the disinfection stage to ensure that germs and bacteria which enter the water at the broken spots are destroyed before the water gets to our taps,” he said.

Mr Alhassan urged the students and the public at large to call the AVRL toll free number in case of any breakage or leakage to ensure that a professional work was done on the pipes, “instead of calling some private plumbers who usually fix the broken pipes wrongly and allow foreign material into the pipes”.

“We also entreat you to report cases of illegal connections to AVRL,” he told the students.