The Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) has said it may be compelled to shut down its water treatment plant at Nawuni in the Kumbungu district of the Northern Region if the water level rises above 36ft as a result of the torrential rainfall and spillage from the Bagre Dam.
The recent floods, according to the company, are hampering efforts in treating enough water drawn from the river at its Nawuni intake point at Dalun; hence, closing it would help prevent the pumps from submerging in the water and destroying the machines.
The standard operating level for the treatment plant is supposed to be 36ft; but as at Monday when the Regional minister and GWCL research team visited the site, the water level had reached 35.75ft – inching close to its maximum capacity.
The company currently produces between 28,000 and 32,000 cubic metres of water monthly as against 45,000 cubic metres required by customers. The water treatment plant at Nawuni, also in the Kumbungu district, serves people of the Tamale metropolis, Savelugu municipality, and the Nanton, Kumbungu and Tolon districts.
The Northern Regional Public Relations officer for GWCL, Nii-Abbey Nicholas who disclosed this to the B&FT, noted that though the station has more volumes of water coming upstream, the Nawuni station has got to a point where the water intake is too much for production; and if care is not taken, it could break the pumps.
“It costs huge amount of money to fix a pump, and most of them are manufactured based on request and specification – and it takes time to do that. In this COVID-19 era, most of the manufacturing companies are not working, so we can’t take that risk.
“We may have to stop production temporarily if the water level gets to the 36ft. Meanwhile, we are supposed to run three pumps with the fourth one on standby; but as at yesterday when we visited, only one pump was running – and that one is able to do one-third of the production capacity,” he said.
He added that since the water level has not got to 36ft yet, management is liaising with the Ghana Meteorological Agency to learn the expected rainfall pattern within the Metropolis before a decision is reached. He however urged the public to store more water, just in case the plant is shut down.
The Nawuni River (White Volta) is the source that GWCL draws its water from for distribution to consumers in Tamale and its environs in the Northern Region.