MIYA Bahamas, the company credited with reversing the trend of non-revenue water in New Providence will get the opportunity to continue that work over the coming weeks and months. The company’s contract which was initiated back in 2012 for a period of ten years has been extended until December 2022. “The immediate short extension gives us time the opportunity to draft and execute a new long-term contract” explained project manager Mario Tavera, “the new contract will take into consideration all the lessons learned in the first 10 years, but also the new technologies and methodologies available nowadays and that were not prior the tender of this project.”
Since arriving in The Bahamas nearly a decade ago, the company’s primary focus has been improving the quality of water for scores of
the island’s consumers by upgrading miles of deteriorating infrastructure, fixing leaks, and preventing millions of gallons of wasted water. “The work started with an 83 million-dollar loan secured by the Government of The Bahamas from the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB),” explained project Manager Mario Tavera. “We began our work in partnership with the Water and Sewerage Corporation to address the island’s critical sewerage needs.”
That work began almost immediately with the launch of an island-wide assessment of water systems. The process, an 8-month long undertaking, uncovered the loss of up to 6.87 million imperial gallons of non-revenue water, every single day. “What we found almost immediately was that thesystem supply had no pressure management or active leak detection protocols implemented. This meant millions of gallons in non-revenue water that eventually led to cutbacks, particularly in inner-city communities,” said Tavera.
To address the issues, MIYA Bahamas implemented a targeted strategy which included:
1) replacement of thousands of faulty service connections;
2) the deployment and installation of cutting edge equipment for monitoring and controlling remotely the water supply; 3) the disconnection of illegal and dormant customers; 4) the implementation of a comprehensive maintenance plan, which further included an intensive and continuous active leak detection campaign – with consequent quick repairs – and efficient pressure management.
Armed with funding provided by the IDB, MIYA Bahamas successfully implemented a new supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA)
system to better monitor, control, and respond to system challenges.
Further to this, with 32 stations in the distribution systems, each one provided with a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRVs) along with a high-tech system for monitoring and controlling water pressure remotely, In 2019, the success of the program garnered the company praise from the IDB who commended Miya Bahamas for meeting and exceeding its mandate to create and maintain a more consistent, and shock-resistant water supply system.
The success of the company’s island-wide improvement plans were significantly challenged as a result of global pandemic conditions. The
onset of the virus saw MIYA Bahamas implement the necessary protocols required to continue their work.
“Following mandated emergency orders and regulations, we improved the efficiency of our field teams and made some changes to the way those teams are allowed to operate,” Tavera said. “That meant not venturing onto a customer’s property and also shifting our focus to the remote maintenance of the assets as much as possible.”
As conditions have relaxed Miya’s fieldwork has resumed full force with a team of 17 highly trained men and women overseeing the continuing project. Over the next several months, Tavera says they will continue to build on the team’s excellent work over the past nine years.
“This contract extension will represent a new phase of the infrastructure project,” Tavera said, “I’m really pleased with the work that has been done and we’re excited about meeting our new goal that will be defined with the client during the course of the short extension”. For 2022, the goals and targets, will remain the same as in 2021. For residents across NP, this will mean continued access to a safer, cleaner, and more reliable water supply.”
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