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Today’s news stories
WSC Continues Water Supply Improvements in the Family Islands
Implementing its CDB Water Supply Improvement program in the Family Islands
Nassau, Bahamas – The Water and Sewerage Corporation’s (WSC) vision is: ‘Committed to Growth, Committed to Quality’. True to its mandate to provide accessible and affordable water to all its customers across the archipelago, the Corporation continues to undertake a series of water supply improvements on several Family Islands.
The Corporation has signed a $1.69Million contract with Bahamas Hot Mix Co. Ltd to extend and improve water supply to San Salvador. The award follows a tender process that started in August 2016. The scope of works consists of the supply and installation of over 9 miles of water main and 160 service connections and works are expected to take approximately 8 months to complete. It will impact communities from Cockburn Town to Sandy Point.
Chairman Leslie Miller indicated that ”the project will provide high quality piped water service to some areas of San Salvador for the first time and is a part of the Government’s commitment to provide for the needs of its citizens throughout the Family Islands”.
The project is a component of the recently approved $41 Million program partially funded with $28 million from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). In addition to San Salvador, the Water Supply Improvement Project will also address water needs in the islands of Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Long Island, New Providence, and South Andros. A contract for South Andros was signed in November 2016, and the New Providence components are expected to be completed in February 2017.
Additionally, WSC signed an Engineering Services Consultancy (ESC) contract with ACO JV (Bahamas) Limited for the construction supervision of the CDB Water Supply Improvement projects. The joint venture (JV) consists of three Bahamian firms – Caribbean Civil Group Limited, Operational Management & Engineering Services Limited, and Applied Consulting and Engineering Limited – and the contract signing follows a tender process that started in June 2016.
Services under the contract include procurement advisory, review and approval of designs, and supervision of construction activities, to ensure construction of the project infrastructure to a high quality. Another critical aspect of the consultancy is to ensure that environmental impacts are mitigated, and that climate change considerations are taken into account during the design and execution of the works.
The contracts for remaining CDB Water Supply Improvement Projects are anticipated to be signed throughout 2017. These will cover infrastructure works in Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, and Long Island in addition to other associated services.
PINEWOOD RESIDENTS GIVEN FREE CITY WATER SIGN UP FOR A LIMITED TIME
NASSAU, BAHAMAS - In keeping with its commitment to providing reliable and safe water supply to all communities around the country, The Water & Sewerage Corporation (WSC) recently teamed up with nurses within the public healthcare system to promote the health benefits of city water usage, particularly within close knit communities like Pinewood.
For the past two years, the Corporation has embarked on a house to house initiative in the residential area of Pinewood Gardens, to encourage well users in the area to make the switch to city water. Across the world, water borne illnesses remains a major concern particularly in the event of possible fresh water contamination, which can be caused by natural disasters like Hurricanes or man-made hazards that leak into the water table.
“Being on personal wells, does not guarantee that their water supply is safe,” explained WSC Public Affairs
Manager, Visna Armbrister. “WSC trained staff monitor our water 24/7, we have professional chemical engineers who are trained on chlorination and our water is approved and meets the above international water standards,” she said.
Of the 650 homes in the area, less than half of the residents have agreed to sign on to city water. The corporation is currently in the process of completing major mains improvement in the Pinewood area and once completed, the new infrastructure will provide piped water to scores of homes for the first time in history.
As an additional bonus the millions of infrastructures work is being carried out at no cost to the customers. “Right now sign up for WSC Pinewood is free,” said Armbrister! “ If these residents choose to sign up after the work is done they will have to pay $714 dollars plus VAT to get instillation to WSC water.”
The corporation encourages all interested households to make the switch now to avoid incurring any personal costs. “We’re working every-day to make sure we give people clean, safe, reliable water supply that’s what we want people to know about,” Armbrister noted. “We have also integrated on line bill payment, e-billing and more to make our services so much easier then self-water supply.”
Pinewood customers should contact the Customer Service Department at 242-302-5599 if they missed the sign-up visits or reach out to Corporation via their Facebook page or the corporation’s website at www.wsc.com/bs. For those not in Pinewood the corporation is currently offering 50%off sign up services to any customers.
Sea Breeze Resident Decorates and WINS!
Nassau, Bahamas – With the Christmas decorations coming down on houses across the country, one happy resident may show off her décor a little bit past the twelfth day of Christmas. Sandra Bain, a long time resident of Sea Breeze, was judged as the winner of the Water and Sewerage Corporation’s (WSC) and Miya Bahamas’ Christmas Decoration Contest 2016.
“I found out about the contest after visiting WSC Thompson Blvd to pay my water bill,” said Bain. “I love decorating, its been a hobby of mine for years but I also love seeing the joy it brings to people; especially the children. I get a kick from seeing the excitement from adults too.”
Mrs. Bain was among several New Providence residents who entered to win the thousand-dollar prize and whose homes were judged by an internal panel of three judges who noted that Mrs. Bain’s house “decorations was impeccable!”
Bain who does her more elaborate home decorating at Christmas starts her theme planning at the end of summer, with her completed décor up by the first week of December. “We often see and hear people slowing down as they pass to look at the decorations, some even stop to take photos. I’ve even seen families stopping to take their Christmas photos!”
The winning house depicted the spirit of Christmas through its lights, decorations and how well the designs were put together,” said Judge Ingrid Strachan. “Her home created an ambiance that said welcome Christmas.”
Bain will now start working on her 2017 theme and is hopeful the Corporation will continue this contest, as she loved winning! Bain planned to use some of her winnings to continue doing the things that she loves, helping people, as she noted there are so many less fortunate. She will also be paying some bills and purchasing some more decorations of course!
Chairman Miller Commends the WSC Staff for their commitment during
Nassau, Bahamas - Last week, the Water and Sewerage Corporation hosted its Annual Employee Recognition and Awards Ceremony at St. Joseph’s Parish Hall. It was an opportunity for the Management of the Corporation to say thank you to its employees for the service they have provided throughout the year.
The Ceremony, hosted by Mr. Tyrone Miller, WSC Manager of Billing Processing and Adjustment Department, in the Business Operation Division was very entertaining and was attended by many of the Corporations’ board members and employees as well as Chairman, Leslie Miller, MP. Mr. Miller spoke on behalf of the Minister responsible for the Water and Sewerage Corporation, the Hon. Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis and thanked the staff of the Corporation for their dedication throughout the year, especially during Hurricane Matthew.
“During Hurricane Matthew, lights were out, cable was off, phones were down but the water kept flowing,” noted Miller. “And that’s all thanks to you. Your dedication to this Corporation, making sure things run smoothly during such a difficult time is definitely an inspiration to all the other corporations and utility providers in The Bahamas.”
The Chairman also warned the management and staff of the corporation to not get complacent. “Don’t let that go to y’all head though, there’s still lots of work left to be done, “Miller chided. “The Corporation today supplies a little more than 50% of the homes in New Providence with running water so come 2017, it will be my goal, with your help to increase that number.”
During the course of the afternoon, the Corporation also recognized several employees for their outstanding work in 2016. Two such employees were, Arnold Josey and Wallace Munroe, of WSC Customer Service. Josey and Munroe were recognized for their outstanding work, going above and beyond the call of duty to assist customers of the Corporation immediately following the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
In addition to the Customer Service Representative of the Year, the Corporation also honored its Long Service Award recipients. Mr. James McPhee, Foreman, Construction Department was presented with the Longest Serving Award and noted “Some people have asked me what keeps me going, it’s simple. Its seeing the smiles on people’s faces after you’ve help them with their problem. That is very rewarding for me.”
Closing out the formalities of the event was the Corporation’s General Manager, Mr. Glen Laville who used the opportunity to thank the employees of the Corporation for their dedication throughout the year. “Many times I know it was not easy but each of you always showed up, dedicated to the task at hand; even in the most difficult of situations,” said Laville. “So I am grateful to you for the work you have done throughout the year and will continue to do on behalf of the Water and Sewerage Corporation.”
Many of the employees expressed their gratitude to the Corporation for hosting the event and recognizing the hard work they do. One employee said, “it isn’t often the company you work for pulls out all the stops to make you feel special, or in this case, ‘like a star’ but it’s nice to get rewarded and recognized for the work that we do here at the Corporation.”
The event was filled with fun and laughter and the Corporation extends its thanks to event Chairperson, Ms. Ingrid Strachan, WSC Manager, Training Department, Human Resources Division and her Committee for putting on a stellar Employee Recognition and Awards Ceremony.
WSC Helps Light Up the Holidays
WSC Helps Light Up the Holidays
Nassau, Bahamas - Across The Bahamas, the holiday’s wouldn’t be complete without spending time with the family decorating your home to bring in the festive season. The Water and Sewerage Corporation wants to help spread more cheers this year by rewarding the best decorated house on the block.
Once again, the Corporation is hoping to spread Christmas cheer with its ‘Christmas House Decoration Contest’. The contest is open to all customers of the Water and Sewerage Corporation and is free to enter, but requires participants to sign an entry form before December 10th. Finding the form is easy on their website or Facebook page, but winning the grand prize of a $1,000 for the best decorated house means making your home dazzle.
According to Visna Armbrister, Public Affairs Manager at the Water and Sewerage Corporation, the judges of the Christmas House Decoration Contest will reward the customer with the grand prize money for the house that has the greatest “curb appeal”, based on the look of the exterior of the home from the street.
Armbrister further explained that houses will be judged in three categories, “i. unique design and creative use of lights and decorations; ii. display and placement of decorations and iii. overall presentation.” Adding, “we all have driven across the island and have seen some beautifully decorated homes, so we decided to reward one of our great WSC customers for the time and effort making their home shine bright. Surely everyone could use the extra thousand dollars in their pockets too.”
In addition to the grand prize money, the Corporation will also give the first 25 entries to the contest, one month of free service (valued at $25.00).
“We recognized that many communities and household are still in recovery mode after the hurricane and many are concentrating on home repairs,” said Armbrister. “But for those who can join in, we invite them to get into the Christmas Spirit and spread the joy of festivity with lights and decorations. We're hoping the Community will make an effort and join us as we spruce up and decorate for the season.”
The contest is also open to Family Island customers and local judges will be chosen to help find the best decorated home in The Bahamas.
Entry deadline is December 16th, 2016 with judging to be done December 20th through December 23rd 2016. with winners announced on Facebook.
Full entry rules and application forms are available on the Corporation’s website or at the Corporation head office on Thompson Blvd.
Nassau, Bahamas – The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) signed a contract $5.6 million with Island Site Development late last week to extend and improve water supply to South Andros. The contract signing follows a seven month tender process that allowed all companies to bid on the work.
“This project will bring much needed service improvements to an area that has been calling for relief for decades,” said General Manager of WSC, Glen Laville. “We are very pleased to be able to get this work started as well as the other components of this loan program to improve quality of service for our family islands.”
The project is part of the recently approved $41 Million program partially funded by $28 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of The Bahamas. The overall program covers over 100 miles of water mains and more than 3,000 service connections, andwill also include water improvements to the islands of Cat Island, Crooked Island, Eleuthera, Long Island, San Salvador and some New Providence areas.
The South Andros contract will allow for the installation of over 20 miles of water mains and six hundred service connections impacting all communities from Congo Town to Mars Bay. Water supply will be provided by a desalination plant under a separate contract to be tendered prior to completion of the water works. The South Andros works are expected to take approximately twenty-five months to complete with emphasis being placed on a high quality, climate-resilient installation.
Water and Sewerage Chairman, Mr. Leslie Miller said, “The Corporation is happy to have the funding available to award this contract and have the work completed. When completed, the residents of South Andros from Congo Town to Mars Bay will see a huge improvement in the quality of water.”
The Corporation has advised that over time, the public can expect to hear about more work being done by Water and Sewerage. As works are nearing completion in New Providence, an award is anticipated shortly for work to commence on San Salvador. Additionally, a contract for Engineering Services will be awarded before the end of November 2016 to provide construction supervision and other related technical services under the CDB loan program.
Fulfilling its IDB Support Program to improve the quality of water and service to customers.
Nassau, Bahamas – The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) signed a contract with Island Site Development today totaling $2.4 Million to rehabilitate critical wastewater infrastructure in New Providence. The contract signing follows a tender process that started in June 2016.
The contract is a funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) under a loan agreement signed on December 16, 2011, for the implementation of the WSC Support Program – New Providence Water Supply and Sanitations Systems Upgrade.
Component 3 of the WSC Support Program, focused on the preparation of a Wastewater Master Plan. The plan will address; wastewater collection, treatment, and disposal needs of New Providence as well as the rehabilitation of critical sewerage infrastructure on the island.
A Master Plan was completed in October 2015, designed to determine the best way to address these issues. The WSC is using this Master Plan to determine which wastewater assets it will rehabilitate and construct, with the funds from the IDB, to improve the overall working system.
The WSC is using a phased approach to carry out these works and each of these contracts is being procured separately, in three separate contracts:
1. (Small Works) Rehabilitation of Small Pumping Stations and Related Works
2. (Major Works) Construction of Wastewater Treatment Plants & Pumping Stations.
3. (Engineering Consultant) Construction Supervision of both the Major and Small Construction Works.
Using the IDB’s international tendering procedures for National Competitive Bidding (NCB), Island Site Development (ISD) was awarded the Small Works contract once the bids were evaluated and they were determined to be the lowest evaluated bidder.
According to Mr. Glen Laville, General Manager of the Water and Sewerage Corporation, “Several of our wastewater facilities have required rehabilitation for many years. It’s definitely a relief to have the funding available to address some of the more critical components.”
Expecting to take 6 months, the works consists of rehabilitating 10 sewage pumping stations, and installation of 1000 ft. of gravity collection mains along with other associated works.
WSC is also in the process of requesting proposals and accepting tender bids for the second contract listed. Proposals for these major works are due at the end of November and a firm will be selected by January 2017. These works are expected to last 18 months, bid information is on the company website.
The WSC will also finalize the selection of a Consultant Firm (third contract listed) to assist with construction supervision for both wastewater contracts mentioned above. The firm selected will ensure the quality and timeliness of the construction works.
Nassau, Bahamas – Mobile apps are software applications designed to run on smartphones, and other mobile devices. Last year it was reported that, more than had been downloaded from online stores around the world. Last weekend the Water and Sewerage Corporation, in wanting to meet consumer demand and growing technology in our market, launched the first utilities mobile app that allows customers to report complaints directly from their smartphone.
The Water & Sewerage team launched their mobile app, wscMobile at the Mall at Marathon. The application, went into its final testing phase in late August and after weeks of testing, as well as a small setback caused by Hurricane Matthew, it was finally ready to be launched to the general public.
Customers will now, right in palm of their hands, be able to report issues with their service, view their account statements, check consumption and account balances and pay their WSC bills. The mobile app will also allow non-customers of the Corporation access to services like well-testing and the ability to report leaks.
According to WSC’s GIS (Geographical Information Systems)
Visna Ambrister, Public Affairs Manager at the Water and Sewerage Corporation said she was excited by the number of persons that had expressed interest in the Corporation’s mobile app. “We decided to host this launch at the Marathon Mall because we knew it was very likely that we would meet our customers, and interested citizens, the reception we have gotten was great! A lot of persons stopped by and were certainly interested in the app and its features, and they continue to be appreciative of the work the Corporation has been doing. The mobile app gives our customers another means to access their accounts. The features of the app will certainly benefit customers and us at the Corporation.”
While the Corporation’s staff was busy informing visitors to its booth about wscMobile, local entertainer, Timico ‘Sawyerboy’ Sawyer entertained the crowds that had gathered and posed for photos with his fans. “When I heard the staff talking to people about the mobile app I started becoming more and more interested. Things you hear happening in other places around the world like paying your bills online happen right here in The Bahamas! I think what WSC is doing is great, a lot of my fans on social media said they were interested too. There are a lot of features that the app has so it was nice to be a part of the launch.”
The event also aired live on ZNS 1540AM Radio with host Vaughn Miller. Listeners were encouraged to download the App and visit the WSC booth at the Mall to enter to win the grand prize drawing of $500. The lucky winner was Daniel Lubin who said "I was eager to participate and download the App especially because I'm not working right now and really could use the assistance. I was shocked that I won because I had never won anything before”.
In addition to the ability for customers of the corporation to access their accounts and report issues with their service, the app also gives non-customers of the Corporation the ability to report leaks. Ms. Armbrister hopes that everyone with a smartphone or tablet downloads the app and utilizes the “Report a Leak” function. According the Ms. Armbrister, “WSC remains committed to reducing its non-revenue water loses and this particular feature of the app will greatly assist in that effort.”
During our time at the Mall, the Corporation had an opportunity to speak to many customers of the Water and Sewerage Corporation like Ms. Jennifer McKenzie; said she would definitely give the app a try. “Usually, I go to Cash N Go to pay my utility bills either during my lunch break or when I am off and its stressing because several times the lines were too long for me to wait. But with this app, I can pay my bill while having lunch at the office or while at home during the night. That is great and super convenient.”
In addition to the releasing its mobile app, the Corporation also used the opportunity to inform non-customers of the Corporation’s latest 50% discount on sign-up fees incentive after Hurricane Matthew. “Many people have issues with their wells, contamination, power, etc.,” said Armbrister. “We are giving them the chance to sign up for 50% off as a new or returning customer. We hope they will see the improvements we’ve made and that we had water on all through the storm.”
To download WSCMobile visit the Android Marketplace or Apple App store and search WSCMobile or visit http://wscmobile.me .
10/27/2016 - WSC Team Earns High Praise From Community
In aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, many throughout the country were left broken as the powerful storm left a trail of damaged or completely destroyed homes and businesses. The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) was no exception and they are grateful that they can describe their damage as minor; our hearts remain with the persons throughout the country that suffered catastrophic damages.
“We were very pleased that as a result of the continued improvements to our infrastructure and its constant maintenance, we were able provide a consistent supply of running water during and immediately after the storm,” said Robert Deal, Deputy General Manager. “Generally we only had a few setbacks in isolated areas. Additionally, we were able to quickly return to the roads after the storm to make assessments of our infrastructure and make any necessary repairs. Operations are stabilized but we continue to seek ways to improve our system resilience.”
WSC dedicated staff, along with the improved system efficiency, also allowed them to quickly return to neighborhoods and make repairs to individual customers who may have suffered damages to the supply lines. One such customer wrote a personal email to Mr. Deal to give their gratitude.
“I write to commend the outstanding work of the crew which came to address the water supply issue we experienced following the passage of Hurricane Matthew.” This satisfied customer in Cable Beach added, “They were able to address the problem promptly and effectively, and arrived prepared with the items and tools necessary to complete the work. Both my husband and I were very impressed indeed by the caliber of the crew, their willingness to come to our assistance and their friendly demeanor – even though I’m sure they’d been working extremely hard already.”
The team that assisted this customer consisted of Arnold Josey (Senior Foreman), Wallace Munroe, Clay Colebrook, Nigel Curry, Stephen Brown and Archie Pennerman. The WSC Foreman said “it’s really nice to get a thank you now and then, and when someone takes the time to write a letter about our staff its very rewarding as well as great for my team to hear. We thank them for taking that time.”
Water and Sewerage also received many positive comments from other WSC customers; Maria posted on the corporation’s Facebook page, “I think WSC handled this situation very well. I am proud of them, even to have a person answer the emergency control room and explain the situation was so calming and reassuring. Unlike others that sent customers to a recording and wild goose chase” Stacia also noted her thanks on Facebook and said, “Thanks Water & Sewerage for keeping the water on all through Hurricane Matthew, thanks once again.” And Stephan wrote on Twitter, “W&SC, the #RealMVP!”
We’ve worked very hard on our communications over the last year or two, said Visna Armbrister, WSC Public Affairs Manager. “We are truly committed to quality at WSC, and we’ve loved getting feedback from our customers and are very pleased with our staff.”
In addition to its restoration efforts, the WSC Corporation suspended disconnection exercises pre-/post-hurricane, and, for a limited time, has reduced the cost to acquire services from the Corporation for new and returning customers by 50%. “We know many people were affected by flooding, and serious damage to underground wells,” said Armbrister. “Now is the time to come back to reliable and safe water for your family.”
Contact the Corporation at 302-5599 or visit our Facebook page for more details.
9/15/2016 - WSC is gearing up to launch the first ‘Mobile App’ for a Bahamian Government Corp.
The Water and Sewerage Corporation is gearing up to announce the launch of its latest upgrade, a brand new WSC Mobile Application, for all smartphones and tablets in The Bahamas.
The application, now in its final testing phase, will be the first of its kind for any Government owned utility company and will give instant access to news and updates from the Corporation, allow account holders to pay their bills on their devices, make immediate service requests and much more.
Expected to be launched later this year the corporation is working hard to improve its overall service reliability while staying mainstream in areas of technology.
One of the key features the Corporation is excited about is the ability for WSC customers and non-customers alike to report leaks as the Corporation has placed great emphasis on reducing its non-revenue water loss, that is, water that has been produced and is “lost” before it reaches the customer.
According to Shantelle Lopez, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Manager at the Water and Sewerage Corporation, “Our mobile WSC app will allow users to report water leaks through the app, users will be able to log in to the App and report the location of the leak, removing the need for customers to call into the Corporation.” Lopez further added that “those notifications will be delivered in real-time, 24hours a day to work crews so that those issues can be immediately resolved.”
Lopez also highlighted a few other features that she’s excited about; the ability for Customers of the Corporation to view their water usage at anytime and pay their bills and view outages and work notices from their smartphones.
“The WSC App will make customers’ lives easier by allowing them to pay their WSC bills at their convenience, help them stay informed of what we’re doing and alert us to any water issues that they may be experiencing,” she noted. “It will make it a lot easier for our customers to do business and communicate with Water and Sewerage.”
The WSC Mobile App, currently in its final testing phase will be available for download in late October through the Apple App and Google Play stores; launch details will appear on their social media pages and website.
“At the heart of this work our goal is to help both the client and Corporation” said Visna Armbrister, Public Affairs Manager at WSC. “We had reduced non-revenue water loss by more than 50%, saving nearly 3 Billion gallons, a saving of nearly $6.5million; the WSC Mobile App will certainly help in further reducing non-revenue water losses and we hope make doing business with us easier and quicker!”
9/9/16-WSC Eastern New Providence Testimonials
BEC employee, Mr. Norman Forbes, will also be featured in the new videos. He’s seen speaking with the Keen I Media film crew on why he made the switch from well water back to city services.
(Photo courtesy of Barefoot Marketing)