Some of the newly installed community water tanks donated by corporate Barbados to the state-owned Barbados Water Authority (BWA) seem to be falling apart.
At least two of the tanks, installed in December 2018, have collapsed, leaving residents in Ginger Works, St Joseph, and Pot House, St John, shocked and wondering what will happen when no water is running from their taps.
When Barbados TODAY visited the two locations today, residents who did not want to be identified, said the tanks exploded and collapsed last week.
However, the tank installed by Innotech was still standing and residents said the unit at Pot House was recently filled by workers from the (BWA).
“That is the new one that fall. The old tank still standing up there with the white bands around it. I never see a tank do like that yet. It inflated like a balloon and burst. It fall down like a balloon, I can’t understand. I come by my window and say geez on, look the tank fall down,” an elderly resident at Ginger Works said.
A younger resident said that he was happy water was running from the taps, and indicated that he hoped it would not go anywhere anytime soon.
“If the water stop running now, them got to send the truck because the big tank ain’t got in no water. I don’t even know what happen to it, maybe it ain’t strong enough for out here,” the young man said.
Meanwhile, another elderly woman at Pot House said she was asleep one night when a loud explosion woke her. She said when she looked through her window, she saw that the tank had fallen and the cover was nowhere close to it.
“I stand in my bed and I hear this thing explode. I say to myself, ‘what is that there so.’ When I get up the Sunday morning I see the tank explode and the cover up the road,” the Pot House resident said.
Residents from both areas said that they saw workers from the BWA inspecting and taking pictures of the fallen tanks.
Late last year in the midst of a national argument over the cost and maintenance of the water tanks leased to the BWA by local firm Innotech in a $52 000-a month arrangement signed by the last Government, the tanks were removed by the leasing company. This led to individuals and private sector businesses donating water tanks to BWA.
Efforts to reach BWA’s General Manager, Keithroy Halliday, proved futile, as he is said to be on holiday.
When contacted, BWA’s General Manager Leodean Worrell said she was unable to speak about the matter at the time and asked Barbados TODAY to send her a WhatsApp message outlining the questions. This was done at 1.20 p.m.
Late last night the Barbados Water Authority issued a statement indicating it had removed the collapsed tanks and investigations were being conducted.
“A full assessment of the damage is being carried out as there is evidence of vandalism to both tanks. In the process, there was also approximately nine hundred and fifty gallons of water lost per tank. The Authority notes that both of these tanks were next to two Innotech tanks which were not damaged. The Authority will be engaging the services of the Royal Barbados Police Force to investigate the matter. The BWA is determined to have these tanks replaced by close of business tomorrow Wednesday, so that our valued customers who rely on them will not be without access to the water for a prolonged period,” the statement said.
However, a credible source last night scoffed at the BWA’s suggestion of vandalism, noting that there had been similar issues with the locally-made 1000-gallon water tanks before and that Innotech had brought in the sturdier 2000-gallon water tanks from Trinidad and Tobago as a result. The source said one merely had to look at the two different water tanks with the “naked eye” and one could easily discern the difference in their quality.