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OUR asks DEML for water quality results following Observer report

Thursday, January 18, 2018

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THE Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) says it in discussions with Dynamic Environmental Management Limited (DEML) following a Jamaica Observer report of customers' concerns in Vineyards Estates, St Catherine, about the quality of the water received from that company.

The newspaper article titled, “No one drinks the water”, published in the Observer on January 1, highlighted DEML's customers' concerns in Vineyards Estates about the quality of the water, specifically and an assurance from health authorities that the water supplied to their homes is safe for consumption.

The regulator, in a release yesterday, said that as per its licence obligations, DEML is required to conduct water quality tests and submit the results of same to the OUR.

It said that in a letter to DEML's management, it requested that they provide a response to the issue which should include: all outstanding water quality test reports; information as to the frequency with which water quality tests are conducted in Vineyards Estates; information as to the source of the “massive solid matter resembling hard water” described in the newspaper article; and information as to whether the level of residual chlorine is tested for potable water. The OUR also requested information on any customers' complaints lodged about this issue and measures that have been taken to address same.

DEML, the OUR said, responded to its request on January 16, addressing some of the queries.

Said the OUR: “DEML indicated that it is still awaiting the water quality test results for December 2017. However, based on the test results for October and November 2017 and research conducted, the water at Vineyards Estates is safe for consumption. Further, it said that it has not received any complaints from residents about this problem. The company also said that it is not able to provide information as to the source of the “massive solid matter resembling hard water” described in the newspaper report, as it wouldneed to see the specimen and have it analysed. The company, however, noted that the water at Vineyards Estates contains a high level of dissolved calcium due to limestone deposit, which is typical throughout the parish of St Catherine.”

The OUR noted that DEML, in its response, did not indicate that water quality tests have been carried out since the publication of the article on January 1, and said it will continue to have further dialogue with DEML on this issue as it awaits the water quality test results for January.

DEML provides water and sewerage services to more than 2,000 residents in Vineyards Estate, Bushy Park, St Catherine, as well as Caribbean Estates, Portmore Country Club and Morris Meadows located in Portmore, St Catherine. The company provides more than 54 million litres of water per month through a network of pipelines in the various housing developments and sewerage services to approximately 97 per cent of its customers.

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