BVI News

Over 360 illegal water connections discovered!

The Water & Sewerage Department has made an appeal to the more than 360 reported households who continue to receive running water illegally.

Director of Water & Sewerage Perline Scatliffe-Leonard described these illegal connections as ‘straight-lines’, meaning they have no water meter but are receiving the utility from public lines. 

During Thursday’s Honestly Speaking radio programme with host Claude Skelton Cline, Scatliffe-Leonard said persons with straight-line connections who come into the department to have a meter system installed will not face any penalties for having an illegal connection.

“We do have some issues in the field with straight-lines that we are trying to correct as well so we are also encouraging customers with lines or individuals who may know that they have a straight-line in the field and are coming in, please come in to resolve that situation,” the Water & Sewerage Director said.

She added: “Persons are coming in. Today we had a gentleman that called right from Main Street to say that he’s going to come in and resolve it, so persons are coming in so we don’t have any issues with that. When I speak about straight-lines we have so far to date come across 365 of them. So we are correcting and customers are responding positively to correct themselves so we appreciate that.”

Inaccurate readings

As the Water & Sewerage moves to address straight-line connections, Scatliffe-Leonard said her department is also pushing to address another problem — inaccurate readings of water meters.

The director said that a major contributor to the inaccurate readings of billing systems have been linked to the aged mechanical Kent meter systems which are now considered dated.

She said: “We are failing miserably in providing accurate readings for our customers and this is because those meters are 25-plus years old and we are replacing those with Kamstrup ultrasonic meters … We have issues where persons tamper with the meter, so this particular meter helps us with that as well because once we install them, we actually put a tag on them so if they’re removed or they’re tampered with, we get an alert.”

The department is, therefore, installing new ultrasonic metering systems across the territory. Installations commenced earlier this year.

Cost for new metres

She estimated that the government has so far spent approximately $900,000 to fully replace all the dated metering systems. This figure will increase to more than $1.5 million when it has finished.

“We are basically replacing those on Tortola first, we haven’t gone to the western end of the island as yet because you know we have the Carrot Bay reservoir, the Zion Hill reservoir, and we do have issues in Cane Garden Bay, so we haven’t gone to the western end of the island yet, but we have from Sea Cows Bay up to East End installed meters, including Greenland, Lambert, Josiah’s Bay, those areas,” she said.

“We are changing from our half-inch meter as well because I know some persons for instance in Purcell, have been saying they didn’t get a new meter and what has been happening is they have half-inch lines. The meters that we ordered in which are for better pressure as well have three quarter inch meters, so we have to upgrade,” she explained.

Once it has been installed across the territory, the new metering system will cost customers a daily fee of 10 cents per day. This will cover unit replacements if needed and scheduled maintenance.

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  1. surprise, surprise says:

    same as everything else, corruption, mismanagement, fraud throughout all departments

    Like 28
    Dislike 1
  2. Fix the problems says:

    Perhaps you should focus on fixing problems first before looking for others to blame.

    The Big BVI issue of “not my fault, i have done everything i can” is rampant. Also with the water company.

    Like 26
  3. fiftythree says:

    I know 1 landlord

  4. well well says:

    She is doing a better job than wilcock

    Like 10
    Dislike 6
  5. Not doing your job. NO ACCOUNTABILITY. Just collecting a pay check says:

    For over 3 years the water company in the BVI has claimed they don’t have water meters.
    What happen they stop making them…LOL
    So what do you expect this will not happen. When you try to do the right and put in a application it take for ever to get service to your property if you application isn’t lost before that. And don’t get me started on the quality of the water. Just a JOKE!!!
    And in Anegada if the power goes out we have no water as well it is on the same generator..DUMB its just all the same SHIT EVERYDAY!!!!
    When you complain no one takes responsibility for this and tell you alot os crap and nothing is done. And always ready to come collect ther bill money. What about the people health and all the damage being done to whatever this water touch.
    This is the same with the electric company barely and street lights and the ones that is up don’t work. Just pour wiring and old equipment that cause damage to everything. It is so expensive to buy in the BVI and of you buy abroad freight,customs and delivery is ridiculous. WHO’S going to reimburse you after you have to endure when your appliances just stopped working for no reason. This might fall on deaf ears but this how it is and for years now.

    Like 29
  6. Brewers Bay says:

    It would be great to get them connected to the system but more important it would be great TO ALWAYS HAVE SERVICE HOW CAN YOU TURN OFF WATER TO YOUR PEOPLE. It is about time to fix the problem. water is a staple of life to your people. Fix the problem turning of the water is not the answer.

    Like 13
  7. Wow says:

    Another example of upstanding citizens helping themselves to what they believe is rightfully theirs. They hook up to the electric too if they could figure out how to do it without frying someone.

    Like 13
  8. Hmmm says:

    Check out v**** L********e up horse path
    After the hurricane he never pay to get the meters fix
    Instead he is changing the tenants $100 a month for water illegally
    And who refuses to pay he turn off the water
    Water and sewage need to look into it
    Everybody that move out from his apartment can tell you there water bill don’t pass $40
    And that ungrateful man v***l charging ppl $100

    • @Hmmm says:


  9. Okay says:

    So are these thieves going to be charged?

  10. Diaspora 3D/360 says:

    Of late, there has been a flurry of people calling for and asking questions on referendum, independence, and self-determination, including former legislator Kedrick Pickering, Hon Mark Vanterpool(R4), Hon Julian Fraser(R3), Talk Show Host(Honestly Speaking) Claude Skelton-Cline, blogger E. Leonard and a host of on line other “bloggers.” The debate, inquiry about and quest for more autonomy, self-governing, self-determination, including independence, ……….etc is healthy. It reflects growth and maturity; the same growth and maturity a child feels in leaving his/ her parent or guardian home. Like a child, a country/territory must be prepared and ready. As such, a country needs world class physical infrastructure, ie, water, sewage, electricity, telecommunications, roads, drainage, energy……etc to go independent. Well, the water infrastructure is a royal mess.

    Water is life and a critical infrastructure that is in need of urgent, holistic restructuring. How did water get in this poor deteriorated state? Poor planning and partisan politics. Why could such a critical resource and utility get so politicized, so cultural, so tribal? Again, politics. The by any means necessary political philosophy set the course. For example, BI-Water, a BOT agreement, was not perfect but a good start to providing a reliable, safe and quality potable water supply. Nonetheless, the former government tribalized it and rode it to victory in two elections. Instead of building on the start, it was treated with disdain, delay and indifference. Even with a change in government, it is still a royal mess.

    A bunch of cheaters, fraudsters are raping an already floundering system. The property owners and accomplices who made the straight line connections must pay a penalty. An average usage rate should be established and the cheaters should be charge for all time they bypass the meter. To do nothing will be a slap in the face to those customers who struggled but made their payments religiously.

    Moreover, in regards to Water and Sewage Department, it must do a better job maintaining, repairing and operating the system (production, transmission, distribution), accounting for water production and usage (water must be a 100% accounted for), billing and fee collection ( the electronic system being down is no excuse for not manually reading the meter and billing manually as needed), testing for water quality delivery………..etc. Government must invest more in water, set higher expectations and demand a higher performance level. The system is currently under performing. By the way, water management should be centralized under Water and Sewage Department with proper staffing. The current centralized/ decentralized approach is inefficient and ineffective.

  11. DJ says:

    Water should be free to all Belongers – pERIOD. Same as health care– no charge…

    Like 1
    Dislike 6

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