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Ghana Water Company dredges Sekyere-Hemang plant intake

The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) in the Central Region has commenced a 10-day dredging and desilting exercise at the Sekyere-Hemang water treatment plant site to improve water production and supply to its customers.

The company is undertaking the exercise to help resolve the acute water shortage that has hit parts of the region for months.

Areas affected by the shortage are Cape Coast and Elmina; and shortage is chiefly due to illegal mining activities (galamsey) on the Pra River at the intake canal of the plant.

A recent media tour of the plant revealed that galamsey activities have narrowed the intake canal, muddied the water, and clogged up the sump of the plant, significantly reducing the flow of water to the plant.

The exercise will, therefore, widen the canal and manually remove silts accumulated in the sump for months to increase the water flow.

Mr Seth Eric Atiapah, the Central Regional Chief Manager of GWCL, noted that the company had cut down its production by 30 per cent owing to the te
rrible nature of the raw water.

He said the turbidity level of the water had reached as high as 7,500 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Units) but the plant was designed to treat water with a turbidity level of 500 NTU.

‘So, you can see that it is water that can almost not be treated.

‘The silt itself also gets into the sump and out of the about 10 meters of depth we have, sometimes we have silt taking about five meters of it, and covering the entire submersible pump,’ he said.

Mr Atiapah said the situation had also significantly increased their cost of production, especially energy and treatment chemicals.

‘Now, we have to use more potent but very expensive chemicals such as polyelectrolytes. If we had not gotten that, probably, we wouldn’t even get water,’ he explained.

‘We hope that when the dredging is done, we will have improved quality of water for treatment,’ he added.

Mr Atiapah indicated that the company was making efforts to fight the galamsey menace in and around their operation areas to mitigate
the bad water situation.

He said they were doing community engagements to get the miners off the water bodies while they collaborated with security personnel from the Western Region for a special operation.

Source: Ghana News Agency