Jamaica Observer:- ARISING from allegations that cesspool trucks are being retrofitted to take advantage of the boom in the delivery of drinking water in the Corporate Area, the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) is to be provided with a list of certified water trucking companies.
Dr Yohance Rodriguez of the Kingston and St Andrew Health Department promised to provide the list at last Tuesday’s Parish Disaster Preparedness and Public Health Committee meeting, where the matter was raised.
Councillor Patrick Roberts (PNP, Molynes Gardens Division) said that some councillors had received reports that cesspool trucks were being retrofitted to carry water. He said that an urgent investigation was needed into the matter, and that the health department needed to urgently educate communities about the possible dangers of such a situation.
Roberts had raised the concern after Councillor Neville Wright (PNP, Trench Town Division) asked the health department whether the trucks being used to carry water were certified.
Public health inspector Derron Williams told the committee that although there was a boom in the trucking of drinking water, there was no specific regulation for the trucking of water.
Williams informed the committee that guided by food Handling regulations, on June 27 the health department would be holding a training session for people and companies trucking water.
Wright, who commended the health department on the planned training initiative, expressed surprise that there was no regulation for the trucking of the water. He suggested that the council write to the ministry about the need for regulation.
Councillor Duane Smith (JLP, Chancery Hall Division), who said that he had noticed an abundance of new water trucks around the municipality, stated: “I can’t say when last I have seen a cesspool truck.”
Smith urged the health department to provide a list of all the trucks certified to carry water.
Deputy Mayor Winston Ennis, who chaired the committee meeting, said he was shocked to hear that water could be delivered from cesspool trucks.
“I would like for some investigation to be done,” he said.
Williams told the committee that water from the trucks is periodically tested, and if microorganisms are in the trucks they would be reflected in the water tested.
Nicola Rose, acting senior chlorination supervisor at the National Water Commission (NWC), told the committee that every truck being used to haul water from the NWC is sterilised by the agency, tested at its laboratory, and given certification to indicate that it had passed the standard for the delivery of potable water.
Councillor Kari Douglas (PNP, Trafalgar Division) said that the issue was very serious and urged the KSAMC to embark on a public education campaign to inform communities of any possible dangers.
Councillor Dennis Gordon (PNP, Maxfield Division) said that as a result of the allegations, the frequency of water testing should be increased.
Meanwhile, Ennis informed the committee that at a meeting to be held on June 18 at the KSAMC, all matters to do with the drought would be discussed.