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Guernsey Water saves, despite difficult year

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DESPITE a difficult operating year, Guernsey Water has still assured savings, according to its annual report for 2018, which was released yesterday.

Guernsey Water general manager Steve Langlois revealed in Guernsey Water’s annual report the rising cost of cesspit emptying. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 26005577)

General manager Steve Langlois said costs increased by £336k – 3% up from 2017.

The report said this was mainly due to an increase in the cost of emptying cesspits, which went up by £264k, a 10% increase from the previous year.

This service is contracted to States Works.

‘Guernsey Water and States Works continue to work closely to make the service more efficient in the long-term best interests of islanders,’ said Mr Langlois.

Despite these costs, GW was still able to pass savings on to customers by freezing this year’s bills.

Water and wastewater charges on customer bills were also rebalanced.

‘Ensuring transparency and an accurate reflection of the costs of each service fits with our user pays ideals,’ said Mr Langlois.

‘Whilst we work hard to make efficiencies wherever we can, at times costs in areas outside of our control do increase. These costs are then inevitably reflected on our customers’ bills.

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‘As a direct result of our charges rebalance, customers now have a clear idea on the breakdown of Guernsey Water’s costs by looking at the details within their own bills.’

The report said GW significantly reduced operational water usage and water loss due to leakage across its network meaning despite supplying more water to customers last year, GW reduced total water supplied by 0.4%.

The company made savings by using internal workers for more capital work rather than outside contractors.

The report referenced the planning of a refurbishment project for St Saviour’s water treatment works, which it said will bring further efficiency and resilience to GW operations.

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However, Mr Langlois said it was not just about the big projects.

‘A huge amount of work is undertaken by our people every day in order to ensure we are able to continue to provide the island with the best service we can.

‘Much of this work often goes unseen, but is vital for the prosperity of our island.’

During 2018, 30,300 metres of public sewer were cleaned as part of an ongoing programme without which the efforts and investment in larger projects like sewer lining, aimed at improving the island’s wastewater network, would be less effective.

Last year, 2.4km of water mains were rehabilitated, reducing the risk of leakage and bursts that can interrupt the supply of water to customers.

. The full report can be seen at https://bit.ly/2LUJMri.

Charlotte Le

By Charlotte Le
News reporter

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