Solomon Water on Saturday reconnected water to state-owned King George Sixth School more than a month after it cut the school off its supplies.
The organisation’s general manager Richard Austin confirmed this to the Sunday Star.
He said the decision was made as a gesture of good will after the school principal assured Solomon Water, the school’s outstanding bill will be settled soon.
Solomon Water disconnected the school’s water supplies after it failed to settle its huge outstanding bill which runs into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The action resulted in major disruption to the school’s resumption of classes after its mid-year break, and rendering it difficult for students to board at the school.
Austin said Solomon Water has been very concerned about the unavoidable but disruptive effects that the disconnection of water supply services have had on the life of the School.
“The disconnection was unavoidable due to the high level of the debt that the School has owed to Solomon Water over many months,” Austin explained.
“Whilst we recognise that the amount of debt has been reduced, the current debt remains high and despite our patient efforts to recover this debt from the school, eventually we had no alternative but to disconnect our services.”
Austin said Solomon Water has been considering how best to help to resolve this problem after they disconnected the school’s water supplies.
He said on Friday, a team made up of the Solomon Water Operations and Technical Department and consultants from the expert team of the JICA-funded non-revenue water technical cooperation project visited the school to assess the situation.
He revealed several problems were found and these require further detailed investigation with the staff of King George VI.
It has been known for some years that the pipelines within the grounds of King George VI School are very old and suffering from severe leakage.
“As a result of this preliminary technical assessment and as a gesture of goodwill, we have decided that the water services will be reconnected over the weekend,” Austin said.
“During next week a technical team from Solomon Water will use its expertise and technology to identify and pinpoint leakages on the 63 year-old pipe system within the KGVI grounds and assess other reasons for water losses.
“Solomon Water is also prepared to offer to design a new pipeline system for the school.
“Further, Solomon Water is prepared to offer to install a new water pipeline system at a not-for-profit price payable by the school should the school executive contract Solomon Water to do so.”
Austin said their primary concern is to provide a good service to our customers providing they pay their bills promptly and in full.
“While we understand the problems that the school has in meeting its water bills, Solomon Water also has a duty to survive and manage its business in a financially sound manner.
“We believe that the fundamental cause of the problem for the school is the amount of water leakage on the KG VI site resulting in high water bills.
“Solomon Water does not like to see precious water being wasted and is happy to assist the school in reducing its water consumption.
“The water that is saved can be used to provide better water supplies to our other customers.
“We are making this very positive and constructive offer to the School because of assurances given by the Principal that payment of outstanding debt will be made very soon.
“We hope that our assistance may make the school a happy and good environment in which the children may learn,” Austin said.
BY FRANCES JOANNE