Grand Bahama’s water quality should see significant improvement by the beginning of summer, East Grand Bahama MP Peter Turnquest said yesterday.
Turnquest said the government is in discussions with the utility company to reduce fees for customers given the poor water quality since Hurricane Dorian.
“The utility company has indicated that they are working on dropping a few more wells in some fresh water reservoirs that they found on the island,” he said outside Cabinet.
“Hopefully that will help to reduce the salinity in the water. And I think their hydrologists have indicated that by about May or June we should start to see a significant increase in the quality of the potable water.
“We are sensitive, and certainly presenting the case of the residents of Grand Bahama to the utility company, that they feel that the utility company charging for this water that is not potable water may be unfair.
“We certainly are having that discussion. The utility company is offering a discount on the water, but nonetheless the residents do have a position, rightfully so, that if they are not able to cook and drink with the water that there really ought to be a deeper discount than 25 percent. So, we continue to have those conversations to see if we can come to a solution to that.”
In December, Turnquest was critical of the pace with which utilities were being restored on Grand Bahama.
He told the Grand Bahama Power Company and the Grand Bahama Utility Company to either quickly restore services to the entire island or hand over the responsibility to the government.
However, he said yesterday that the situation has improved since then.
“Since that time, we’ve received some positive feedback from both utility companies,” he said.
“The electrical company has indicated that they’re now going to extend the transmission lines out as far as Equinor in the first stage and work the service back from there towards the Freeport area. That will give electricity to the major settlements in the East End. And then we will look at how we extend the transmission lines out to McLean’s Town and Sweeting’s Cay.”
He added, “So, that is very positive news and certainly an improvement in the picture we were faced with before the end of the year.
“So, we do want to thank the power company for acceding to our request in that regard. That will facilitate the redevelopment and the relocation of people back to those communities, which is critically important.”