Construction works of the Blantyre Water Board (BWB) water treatment plant at the board’s intake point, Walker’s Ferry, have been completed raising hopes that water supply in Blantyre city will no longer be a problem.
The project involved upgrading and rehabilitation of pumping stations and pipes and is part of three components of the project to improve water supply and provide water of acceptable quality in sufficient quantities to its customers.
BWB director of technical services Mabvuto Chiipanthenga said on Monday during a tour at Walker’s Ferry the water treatment plant will improve water supply situation saying the board will now meet water demand.
He, however, was quick to mention that the completion of the water treatment plant alone will not bring the current water problems to an immediate end because the board has not yet completed some of the works in the project.
“The current demand for water in Blantyre is 96 000 cubic metres in a day, but the treatment plant was designed to produce 78 000 cubic metres in a day. The new treatment plant will, therefore, improve water supply because it has now been upgraded to produce 105 000 cubic metres in a day.
He said the board is currently in talks with the contractor who was assigned to work on the replacement of pumping equipment to complete the task which, until its completion, will then Blantyre experience adequate water supply.
“We were supposed to have the works completed by April end but the contractor has failed to meet the dateline. Meanwhile, we have given an ultimatum of 14 days to have the work completed by then,” he said.
According to Chiipanthenga, the contractor has so far replaced five out of the eight pumps. He said once all pipes are replaced, the board will be able to pump 90 000 cubic metres in day
CEC/Ruo consultants, the consultants for the project, said the facility will enhance the provision of clean and adequate water to Blantyre residents.
“People should expect clean water and adequate water. The plant has all it takes to produce quality water and has been commissioned right,” said CEC/Ruo consultants engineer Wells Gondwe.
He said the water as pumped from the Shire River is well treated in stages as it passes through the chambers built at the site to ensure that the consumer in the end receives well treated, adequate and quality water.