WASA Commences Water Safety Plan Initiatives
02 April 2015: WASA has embarked on a number of initiatives as part of the implementation of a Water Safety Plan (WSP). The development and implementation of this plan was mandated by Minister of the Environment and Water Resources, Senator the Honourable, Ganga Singh, following the recent incident of contamination of raw water supplies at the Caroni Water Treatment Plant.
The Water Safety Plan aims to ensure the safety of raw water supplies, through a comprehensive risk assessment and risk management approach, encompassing all stages of in the supply system, from source to customer.
Catchment and distribution areas served by the Caroni Water Treatment Plant will be addressed firstly as part of WASA’s enhanced water safety strategy. To date, the Authority has established working groups comprising key personnel from its Customer Care, Public Education, Customer Response, Water Resources Agency, Health, Safety and Environment, and Operations Departments.
As part of the Public Education and Community Outreach component of the plan, officials from the Authority have since visited several businesses and four schools located within the Caroni catchment namely St. Helena Primary School; St. Helena Presbyterian School; Sarswati Girls College, Chaguanas and the University of the West Indies. This exercise is expected to instill the importance of safeguarding surface and ground water sources throughout Trinidad and Tobago, but particularly in the Caroni catchment.
Meetings are also being planned with communities along the Caroni River and its tributaries such as Las Lomas, Carapo, La Horquetta and environs, as well as various stakeholders in the catchment area including the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation, UTT, Asa Wright Nature Centre; while NGO’s such as the D’abadie/O’Meara Environmental Movement, Guanapo Community Environmental Development Organisation and the Caribbean Youth Environmental Network (CYEN), are being targeted as well. Watershed and river management information brochures are also being distributed throughout various communities along the Caroni River and its tributaries.
These enhanced efforts at ensuring the safety of surface water supplies will also include identifying hazards that impact on the supply system including cleaning of service reservoirs, potential flood damage, security, emergency procedures and increased water quality testing.
Members of the public are asked to call the following Environmental Management Authority (EMA) hotline number to report any observed instances of pollution to rivers and water courses 628-8042/8044-5 Ext. 2254.