Saturday 20 July, 2019

NWC spending millions to repair broken pipes amid road works

File photo of a major road upgrade project underway in Three Miles.

File photo of a major road upgrade project underway in Three Miles.

Nearly $26 million has been spent by the National Water Commission (NWC) to repair nearly 200 leaks that have resulted from the ongoing major road works taking place across sections of the Corporate Area.

This was revealed by government Senator Aubyn Hill as he made his contribution to the state of the nation debate in the senate on Friday.

He told the upper house that 179 breaks in NWC pipelines resulted from the road woks. Of that number, 84 were classified as major breaks with 52 occurring in the Constant Spring Road area. There were 13 breaks in the Hagley Park Road area, nine on Washington Boulevard and 10 on Spanish Town Road.

“The average time taken to repair these leaks was six hours with a total estimated repair cost of $25.84 million. Of that amount, $11.4 million was for materials and $14.1 million for labour and equipment,” Senator Hill disclosed.

He said, using an average of six hours to repair each leak, the revenue loss to the NWC was an estimated $185 million. “Broken pipes and leaks have proven to be very costly,” Hill said

He also told the senate that the NWC was forced to truck some 770,000 gallons of water weekly to affected customers at a cost of $18.7 million.  

Senator Hill conceded that “the NWC has had a very challenging past couple of months and many of our customers in Kingston, especially parts of Washington Boulevard and the Molynes Road area had a really difficult time at Christmas and into the New Year.”

While roughly 3,000 people were affected by water shortages in Montego Bay, St James during the period, about 105,000 of the 620,000 NWC customers in Kingston and St Andrew have been impacted by the rupturing of the 18-inch main along the Mandela Highway, 35 feet underground.

The main, which took water into the Corporate Area via Washington Boulevard and Spanish Town Road, was deemed impossible to repair. It has since been abandoned and is being replaced above ground.

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