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Skills Trainings To Ensure Safe Water Supply

When one opens up a tap in the kitchen or the bath­room to cook and to clean, it is expected to receive a good flow of clean water. It is
29 Sep 2018 11:00
Skills Trainings To Ensure Safe Water Supply
Access to clean, safe drinking water is a basic human right.

When one opens up a tap in the kitchen or the bath­room to cook and to clean, it is expected to receive a good flow of clean water. It is often taken for granted how we continuously get clean flow of water on demand.

Access to clean, safe drinking wa­ter is a basic human right.

And to ensure such is delivered to the public in any part of the coun­try, there needs to be an efficient, well-organised water distribution network.

In technical terms, this is called water reticulation system.

Water reticulation system is how (treated) water is distributed from the source to consumers.

Water supply today is most com­monly delivered through an infra­structure of pipes, which are con­structed from materials such as plastic, metal or concrete.

The water reticulation system also ensures a safe and reliable supply of water in adequate quan­tity to people.

As important it is for to have ac­cess to safe and uninterrupted supply of water for daily use, it is also important to implement and maintain the water reticulation systems.

Understanding water supply

We open the tap to receive a good flow of water to complete our daily chores, either it be for washing dishes, cleaning the car or water­ing the garden.

Yet it is seldom understood by the consumer how water gets supplied to us.

The FNU’s National Training & Productivity Centre has been heavily involved with the indus­tries providing skills trainings on many trade skills, and this month NTPC achieved a milestone as it conducted its first training on the installation of the water reticula­tion system.

The NTPC teamed up with Ro­tary Pacific Water, and delivered a training for their current projects based in the provinces of Bua and Macuata, in Vanua Levu.

The training was held at the Agriculture Training Centre in Dreketi, Vanualevu this month, with 18 participants from areas in­cluding Kubulau, Bua, and Labasa. It was noted that eight of these participants were females – a fair indication that women are gaining interest in trades.

The entire group of participants were designated with the task of operating and carrying out main­tenance of the water reticulation systems that covers the communi­ty/village settlements and schools.

Water reticulation fundamentals

Water needs to be collected, treat­ed then distributed.

Let’s have a look at how water is supplied through a piped-network:

1.Water collection – water is col­lected from the source, for instance, a river or a well, and is transferred into a treatment plant via pipes.

2.Water treatment – water collect­ed from the source is clarified, fil­tered and disinfected by removing dirt and organic matter. Chlorine is added to the water to kill bacte­ria and protect water as it travels through the pipes to consumers.

3.Water reticulation – these are the pipe infrastructure or network of pipes put in place to supply water to various communities and to in­dividual households.

The training programme covers the basics of designing and install­ing a well-organised water reticu­lation system.

It covers topics including hydro­logical cycle, the source of water – its characteristics and qualities, water storage and treatment, and the water reticulation pipeline in­stallation – function, operations and usage of materials and valves.

While conducting this training, a participant’s prior knowledge is discussed, and one of the core discussions is their safety while working with the water reticula­tion system.

The safety of any worker is para­mount to prevent injuries.

Therefore, identifying risks and hazards, and taking the remedial measures that to eliminate any risk at the work site, is also discussed during the training program.

It is important the persons in­volved in the water reticulation system understand the process and operations, the maintenance needs of the infrastructure, and clearing of sediments in the water collec­tion tank.

For instance, the collection tank – also known as the sedimentation tank, is where sediments settle before the clear water is tapped down to the communities for con­sumption. The process of clearing sediments must be done in every two months or less considering the weather, to eradicate the buildup of sludge in the tank.

If sludge builds up at the bottom of the water tank, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, thus making water unsafe for drinking and causing health concerns for people consuming it.

Maintaining uninterrupted sup­ply is vital as water is a basic need for people.

Hence, to maintain continuous supply it is important the right ma­terials for pipes are used for longer durability and to lower the risks of water contamination.

Industry partnership on trainings

NTPC works with the government and non- government organisa­tions to conduct an on-site analy­sis of training needs, identify any skills gaps and discuss how these needs can be addressed.

Training programs are then cus­tomised to meet the organisation’s training needs to be more efficient and effective at the workplace.

The NTPC’s partnership with in­dustry stakeholders such as the Ro­tary Pacific Water, Water Authority of Fiji and other non-government organisations plays a vital role to successfully conduct consultation on methods for water reticulation supply.

Such partnerships ensures con­solidated expertise towards install­ing a system work that caters the community needs.

Some of the participants at this training were villages interested in gaining knowledge on solving wa­ter reticulation challenges in their respective communities.

The training concluded by draft­ing a proactive measure that can be used participants as solutions to address water reticulation chal­lenges.

Some of these measures include setting aside a budget for repair and maintenance works for stor­age tanks and pumps, new batter­ies and damages due to accidents or unforeseen circumstances.

Maintenance is paramount to the water reticulation system and re­quires constant monitoring to en­sure continuous flow of clean and safe water.

While, providing consumers the access to clean water supply is a priority, constant monitoring of the reticulation system can pre­vent any case of water wastage during natural calamities such as drought.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj



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