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No water in many areas but lots of broken pipes with water wastage

- PS McMaster said inferior pipe lines to be upgraded in Sabbath Hill area
The cause of frequent water shortages in certain parts of the territory is due to lines becoming damaged by the water pressure, according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, Anthony S. McMaster. Photo: Internet Source
The Water and Sewerage Department continues to be criticised for its alleged slow response to water issues in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
The Water and Sewerage Department continues to be criticised for its alleged slow response to water issues in the Virgin Islands. Photo: VINO/File
From left: Director of Water and Sewerage Department, Perline Scatliffe-Leonard and Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool. Photo: VINO/File
From left: Director of Water and Sewerage Department, Perline Scatliffe-Leonard and Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- While many areas on Tortola, Virgin Gorda and Jost van Dyke are most often out of water, many residents throughout the Virgin Islands continue to witness many broken pipes with water running for days.

Many residents complain that when the Water and Sewerage Department is called the response time is allegedly poor while gallons and gallons of water run for hours, sometimes days, causing the serious challenge with water wastage in the territory.

Broken pipes water wastage

A resident, who did not wish for her name to be used, said “it seems like pipes break in the same area all the time...I live in Sea Cows Bay and down by the Arab store after you pass Nanny Cay it seems like every day a pipe is broken in that area and each time you call the water department all they do is turn off the water…”

Another resident claimed that there has been a water leak “at Sabbath Hill for weeks with water running like a ghut and it has not been addressed by the Water and Sewerage Department”, however residents through-out the Virgin Islands are out of water almost every day.

Reportedly, some in the Ministry of Communications and Works and the Water and Sewerage Department (WSD) have blamed the consistent broken pipes that lead to water wastage on aging infrastructure, strong water pressure, lack of human resources and poor workmanship during the installation of the pipes.

The Ministry of Communications and Works had announced earlier this year a hotline to call for broken pipes and frequent water outage, however, it remains unclear the efficiency of that hotline. It is reported that the calls go to the Fire and Rescue Department who still has to try and find a WSD personal to address the problem.

Aged pipes unable to withstand water pressure- Mc Master

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Anthony S. McMaster told Virgin Islands News Online today, August 10, 2016 that the cause of the frequent water shortage in the Sabbath Hill area is largely due to lines being damaged by water pressure, now that a larger volume of water is in the system.

He said Government is currently sourcing materials to address that problem.

“I am aware there is a leak at Sabbath Hill and it is something that we are trying to address. We have ordered the materials and awaiting them to reach on island so that we can replace the lines. We actually have to replace the lines coming down Sabbath Hill to the Belle Vue junction.”

Those lines, according to Mr McMaster, “are a few years old and cannot take the pressure because as you know with Biwater coming on stream we have more water in the system and of course it’s a lot more pressure that you have to use to transport water to another area. We have designed a project whereby we are going to be upgrading those pipes.”

The Permanent Secretary said he suspects the issues at Sea Cows Bay are as a result of the same issue at Sabbath Hill “because we have to transfer the water from Sabbath Hill to Sea Cows Bay and that comes over the Ridge Road, so every time we have a breakage on the Ridge Road then obviously Sea Cows Bay and anyplace west of Sabbath Hill will be affected.”

Efforts to reach Director of Water and Sewerage Department, Perline Scatliffe-Leonard for further comment proved futile.

Lots of talk; water situation worse off

Within the last five years, the Virgin Islands (VI) has been rocked by severe water shortage with no end in sight, especially on Tortola and Virgin Gorda.

The Minister for Communications and Works Hon Mark H. Vanterpool (D4), has said some four times in the House of Assembly via statements about his government’s plans to address the third world like conditions of lack of water but to date there have been little or no improvements.

The National Democratic Party Administration has also been accused by the Virgin Islands Party Opposition, the media and civil society of delaying the Biwater project after the 2011 general elections for political reasons, causing the people on Tortola to suffer with no water for months.

Over the just concluded 2016 August Emancipation celebrations many communities on Tortola were out of water for days during the long holidays, causing embarrassment and discomfort to visitors and many overseas families.

Many residents on Tortola and Virgin Gorda who have access to water said it comes on early in the mornings then before 12 noon in most areas it is  gone, and these conditions are causing many residents to suffer.

25 Responses to “No water in many areas but lots of broken pipes with water wastage”

  • one eye (10/08/2016, 12:32) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Poor we bvi in going down fast
  • ReX FeRal (10/08/2016, 12:34) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    Mark is more talk than action we should change his name to the talk man
    • Steady flow of BS (10/08/2016, 15:15) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      He too busy with the fil-fil them. And the matter of the pipes leaking has been a on going problem in the BVI. Almost every day someone is posting a picture of a leaking pipe on the Community Board and all W & S employees do is tag each the head honcho is always busy on FB praying for this and praying for that when she should be doing the government's work SMH Maybe she should pray for BETTER PIPES
    • No (10/08/2016, 15:19) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
      Stop blaming the Ministers and fire the damn staff! We paying so many civil servants, over 2,000 of them, WTF are they doing out there? If they can't handle the works then sub contract to companies and get the shit dealt with once and for all. Every day you see them on the road patching up with these little 2 inch pipes as if they can withstand any pressure.
  • well sa (10/08/2016, 12:36) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    I was waiting for this to come up on Bvi community board but here it goes no water last week at hannahs for 5 day come on how can people survive without this basic needs then to top it off electricity on and off I swear we in the 80's
  • Hmmmmm (10/08/2016, 13:45) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Problems with burst pipes;
    1. Some were not installed properly in the first place cause every Dick, Buddy and Harry is contractor in BVI.
    2. Pipes stored in sun for long periods are damaged and still installed in the system.
    3. When water is turned off the workers reopen the valves too fast to restart the system causing pressure to burst pipes.
    And I can go on!!
  • Hmm (10/08/2016, 13:48) Like (11) Dislike (1) Reply
    My concern is why does it have U.S military aircrafts flying over the territory at very low altitudes ?! Seeing that we're a British territory, they should be restricted to do so; especially in such a manner... Unless they were authorized to. [HMMMMM!]
    • @hmm (10/08/2016, 14:51) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
      GREAT question!! I saw a big chopper yesterday flying low down close to the hills
    • AWWWWW (10/08/2016, 20:09) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      I was wondering the same thing to. US military flying over British air space?
    • Because (10/08/2016, 20:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      They are looking for the rest of the illegal people from the boat accident a few weeks ago.
  • TTmonster (10/08/2016, 14:20) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    He still there weaning for those things before he get our damn water problems fixed? LOL
  • too much blame to go around (10/08/2016, 14:28) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Don't blame the politicians. It's these incompetent managers. I had a water leak in my area. No matter how I call water and sewage they only promise and newer show up. I had to call the ministry to get someone to come...
  • Mr. Crabbs (10/08/2016, 14:35) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    The Director is not suited for this role - it is evident in the nonperformance of the department continuously since taking over. Where is the leak detection program and workers? Not impressed at all at the constant failures of these governmental departments. Time for a change! Utter failure.
  • good (10/08/2016, 15:13) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    Everybody fighting about Road March and more festival days in other districts while the country suffer. You want big lime and big man but cant wash your big ass when night come.
  • watching (10/08/2016, 16:01) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
    150 years ago intelligent people invented something called a pressure reducing valve. Real simple .... especially on hills .... Better yet.... Hire a bunch of eighth graders from the mainland to come fix the the pipes properly one time . By the way ... We BVI. Islanders pay for EVERY GALLON OF WATER PRODUCED at the desal plants . Those wasted gallons of water running down the road are costing you hard earned money .Demand some competence . They manage to produce the bills for us dont they ?
  • ndp (10/08/2016, 16:02) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
  • ABC (10/08/2016, 17:32) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ndp must go bottom line they very weak
  • Szar (10/08/2016, 20:19) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    The sad thing about this, is that the man walking around cant even take a shower while the politicians does not give a dam
  • John (11/08/2016, 00:20) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Every school child knows that water is made up of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. The iron in that steel pipe will be corroded by the oxygen in the water. It is clear from the picture that the pipe has not been treated and its walls are much too thin for the required stresses that the pipe will sustain.
    Water works pipes are treated for corrosion resistance and their walls are thicker. In addition these pipes are made up of fitted sections that allow some movement at the joints. A welded seam is too rigid. As can be seen, the crack is along that seam.
    We used to have an engineer at public works but he was removed to secretarial duries. I doubt very much that there is a single engineering manuel in that department or anyone to read it.
  • jack (11/08/2016, 01:38) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Fraser would have address the water problem long time
    • Curious (11/08/2016, 13:46) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      fraser is a waste of time... he is not open to opinion and that will be the end of his career.. at some point you have to listen and he dont like to listen nor follow orders....
  • plenty water (11/08/2016, 15:24) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Even the new pipes that is being installed are breaking. I don't think they are using the right grade pipes. They must be using schedule 80 pipes and not industrial graded.
  • bad boy (12/08/2016, 15:57) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    i live in seacows bay no water me son and the landlord still demanding money for water the shower not running you bathing from a bucket we back to 60 era lol lol

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