The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) is producing 3.5 million gallons of water a day out of the usual 4.8 million it produces at its Daboase Treatment Plant in the Western Region.
Regional Production Manager Vincent Opoku Ware Darko blames the 1.3 million shortfall largely on illegal mining on the Pra River.
“The situation is not good because we are currently doing about 60 percent of what we normally do,” Mr Opoku Ware Darko said in an interview on 3news.com.
“This is because we are not getting a lot of water at the intake point to be able to produce as we can. The weather is having an effect on the volumes that we can draw. Then we also have this galamsey issue where we have a lot of silt built around the intake site. The galamsey activities bring along a lot of silt and they come to deposit at our intake. So, we need to take the silt out so we can get a lot of water to be able to produce.”
The Daboase Treatment Plant in the Wassa East District of the Western Region is the largest production point for Ghana Water Company Limited in the region.
Its daily production capacity is 6 million gallons of water per day. However, the company is able to do only 4.8 million.
“In terms of cubic meters per day per production the designed capacity is 27,000 but we normally do 22, 000 cubic meters per day. However, we are currently doing 16,000 cubic meters per day,” Mr. Opoku Ware Darko said.
The Pra River is the main source of raw water for production at the Daboase Treatment Plant.
Unfortunately, activities of illegal alluvial small-scale miners on the Pra River have increased colour and turbidity of the raw water.
Figures from the Ghana Water Company Limited show that the turbidity of the raw water has increased from 850hu to 2,500hu.
This has caused the raw water to be stagnant around the intake point thereby promoting algae growth which creates odour in the raw water.
“If you look at the colour of the water, it tells you that we have a lot of silt in-built and we also have the turbidity very high. So even if we draw the water, we are going to throw part of it away due to the silt and high levels of turbidity. Mind you, we need to maintain our standards. So, we might draw as we use to do in the rainy season but because of the turbidity about 15 percent of the water, we throw away in order to get the water to the right standard for consumption.”
Mr. Vincent Opoku Ware Darko explained the challenge has increased their cost of production.
“Normally, our average production per day per cubic meter is about GH¢1.2. Currently, we need to apply more chemicals. We now use 60 bags of aluminum sulphate instead of the normal 35. We use alum and chlorine gas for treatment and disinfection. We also run our machines; electricity is high but production is low. So, if you do the computation, we are doing about GHC2 per cubic meter per day.”
According to him, due to the dry season the Daboase Headworks and the Inchaban Treatment Plant together give them 50 per cent of production.
Currently the company is dredging the intake point at the Daboase Treatment Plant.
The company is hopeful the exercise will allow them to draw more water and increase production.
Mr. Opoku Ware Darko stated the current rationing program in Sekondi-Takoradi will only be over when the rains set in.
He mentioned that an ongoing dredging exercise at the Daboase Intake Point is progressing steadily.
“We have done about 45 percent of the dredging. We are hoping that by Friday we should be through with the dredging and we will have enough water to produce. We are expecting the dredging to help us increase production from 16,000 to 18,000 cubic meters per day.”
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana