“Do not abuse a good thing,” is essentially the plea of the Water and Sewerage Department as it relates to ‘free’ water the government entity is going to be providing. The plea which was part of an announcement made on 22 March via social media following announcement of plans to introduce various means to ensure that residents of the Territory have sufficient water to maintain proper hygiene and sanitation amid this COVID-19 pandemic.
In its Facebook announcement on 22 March, the Water and Sewerage Department (WSD) reminded that charges for water service have been suspended until the middle of next month.
However, while the Department is being generous it is still being cautious about possible waste and therefore commenced exhorting the public to desist from overuse. “Please follow all guidelines that have been issued with regard to the use of clean water and the Coronavirus, such as the washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. We ask in the same vein to restrict usage to sanitation purposes, and to avoid washing down driveways, buildings and any other restricted purpose.”
In noting that even customers who were disconnected should make contact WSD stated, “We take this opportunity to also encourage customers with locks on their meters to contact us with regard to their water service. We must all be vigilant in our hygiene efforts over the next few weeks.”
The concessions that are being made by the Water and Sewerage Department were first mentioned by the Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Hon. Kye Rymer on 19 March. In that announcement that was aimed at sharing that Ministry’s COVID-19 preparedness and actions Hon. Rymer stated, “In an effort to promote healthy practices, Cabinet has approved the suspension of charges by the Water and Sewerage Department for water to residences for a period of 30 days in the first instance, effective Thursday, March 19. We are doing this because we understand that the precautionary measures that have been put in place for everyone’s safety will affect the livelihood of persons.”
The Minister also mentioned that measures are in place for residents in areas that are prone to water shortage. “In addition, water delivery will be offered free of charge to existing Water and Sewerage Department customers in areas affected by interruptions in the water distribution network for a period of 30 days effective Thursday, March 19. Further, no more than three customers are allowed at a time inside of the Water and Sewerage department offices at Baugher’s Bay,” Hon. Rymer mentioned.