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Additional FAQs

About WAC

What is Water Authority - Cayman?

The Authority is a statutory body that was established by the enactment of the Water Authority Law in 1983. The primary mission of the Authority is to provide public water supply and sewerage services, to protect and manage groundwater resources, and to operate in such a way as to be financially self-sufficient while contributing to the economy of the Cayman Islands. For more information on the Authority’s mission, click here.

Is the Authority the same as Cayman Water Company?

No. While the Authority is a statutory body, Cayman Water Co. Ltd. is a private business whose water services are limited to the Seven Mile Beach area and West Bay District. If you live outside these areas, you will most likely need to apply with the Authority for water services. To determine whether you are in one of the Authority’s service areas, click  here.

How many customers does the Authority serve?

The Authority’s customer base has more than tripled since since 1996, expanding from 5,000 service connections to approximately 17,000 in 2014.

How many people does the Authority employ?

As of April 2015, the Authority employs a total of 124 persons across Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac.

About Your Account

How much does the Authority charge for water and sewerage services?

Please see the Rates section for information on the costs associated with water and sewerage services. Please note that rates have not changed since 2012.

How often should I receive a bill and when am I required to pay it by?

Bills are issued by the Authority at the end of each month. You are required to pay your bill on or before the 21st day following the date on which the bill was issued.


The Authority will add a Late Payment Charge equal to 1.5% of the outstanding account balance to any account which is not paid on or before the due date. If your bill has not been paid 10 days after the month end, your service is liable for disconnection and will only be reconnected upon settlement of the past due balance and any incidental charges (including legal charges, deposits, and/or reconnection/connection fees, if applicable).


Please note that non-receipt of a bill does not constitute a release from liability of payment.

What are the main components that make up my bill?

Your monthly bill is made up of three components: a meter rental fee, an Energy Adjustment Factor (EAF), and your usage.

Your meter rental fee is a fixed monthly charge based on the size of your meter.

The EAF is calculated based on the electricity cost associated with the production and distribution of the water you use and fluctuates with the price of electricity. For more information on the EAF, please click here.

Your usage is the main component of your monthly bill and varies according to the volume of water metered at your service location. The cost associated with your usage may vary depending on how much water your household consumes daily, as well as the length of the meter reading period.

How can I pay my bill?

The Authority accepts a variety of payment options so that you can choose the method most convenient to your lifestyle. See the Payment Options section for more information.

How can I register for online account access?

To register for online account access, please contact the Authority’s Customer Service Department by visiting the Administrative Headquarters at 13G Red Gate Road, George Town, Grand Cayman or 96 Cross Road, West End, Cayman Brac. View our corporate location map here.


You may also e-mail Customer Service at info@waterauthority.ky or call 94WATER (949-2837).

About Your Water Supply

How does the Authority produce its water?

Using a process of desalination called reverse osmosis, the Water Authority converts saline groundwater into the clean, safe, potable water that runs from your tap. The water produced through this process is checked for quality and safety then stored in one of the Authority’s 10 reservoirs before being pumped to you through our distribution pipeline networks.

What is Reverse Osmosis (RO)?

Reverse osmosis allows the Authority to convert salty groundwater into water that is virtually free of health or aesthetic contaminants by removing 99.5 per cent of the dissolved salts.


The Authority pumps saline ground water from 30-60 metres (100-200 feet) below the Earth’s surface using abstraction wells. A high-pressure system is used to force the brackish groundwater through semipermeable membranes that separate the water molecules from any contaminants.


The brine solution left over from the desalination process is then pumped 45-75 metres (150-250 feet) into the ground through disposal wells. The disposal wells are drilled much deeper than the abstraction wells to avoid contaminating the saline groundwater used by the RO plants.


Prior to the 1960’s, the semipermeable membranes used in RO systems were too inefficient, expensive and unreliable for public water supply applications. Advances in synthetic materials, however, have made modern membranes highly efficient at rejecting contaminants and more cost-effective. Advances in system and membrane design are constantly advancing and the process of RO is expected to continue to play a major role in water treatment around the world.

How many RO plants does the Authority own?

The Authority owns five RO plants — four in Grand Cayman and one in Cayman Brac.

Is my tap water safe to drink?

The water produced by the Authority’s RO plants is of a higher standard than that required by the World Health Organisation guidelines for drinking water quality.

 

The Authority's Laboratory employs a member of staff whose job is to collect and test water samples from throughout the public water supply distribution network. There are sample taps located at each of the Authority's RO plants which are checked daily. In addition, there are 21 other sample taps in Grand Cayman - four of which are checked weekly, two of which are checked every two weeks, and the remainder of which are checked every four to five weeks on a rotation. In Cayman Brac, the sample tap at the RO plant is checked daily and there are three other sample taps which are checked weekly on a rotation.

 

Click  here to see the most recent results of the Grand Cayman Public Water Supply Biannual Analysis.

Does the Authority add any additional chemicals to its water?

In order to maintain the purity of its potable water supply, the Authority must add certain chemicals to the water produced by its RO plants. All chemicals added to the product water are National Sanitary Foundation (NSF) approved for potable water use.


Chlorine is required to ensure that the water is disinfected and free of any bacteria or organics that could be harmful to customers.


In addition to chlorine, the Water Authority adds sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) to adjust the pH of the water to just above 7, and zinc orthophosphate to mitigate the corrosive effects of the distributed water.

What can cause a water supply line to break?

Water lines in the Cayman Islands may break for a variety of reasons. While the unique geology of our Islands is often to blame, breaks also sometimes occur when excavation or drilling projects are undertaken without prior approval.


Before beginning any work involving excavation or drilling, contact the Authority by emailing pipe.location@waterauthority.ky or by calling 94WATER ext. 3000 or 3001 to verify that no underground services are present.


Not contacting the Authority prior to commencing work could result in costly damage to water or sewerage infrastructure that you may then be liable to compensate for.

About Groundwater Resources

Where are the fresh water lenses located?

Grand Cayman has three major fresh groundwater lenses located in East End, Lower Valley and North Side; there is a small fresh water lens in South Sound. Cayman Brac has a small fresh groundwater lens located near Tibbetts Turn. There are no significant fresh groundwater lenses in Little Cayman.

What are the Authority’s responsibilities with respect to protecting and managing these groundwater resources?

Under the Water Authority Law, all groundwater in the Cayman Islands is vested in the Crown. The Law charges the Authority with the management and protection of groundwater resources in the Cayman Islands. Therefore, the Authority manages and protects not only the fresh groundwater lenses, but all groundwater.

Why does groundwater contamination matter?

Groundwater, regardless whether it is fresh, brackish or saline is a natural resource. Contamination of groundwater impacts its natural functions and compromises the way people depend on groundwater. For instance, if fresh groundwater is depleted or contaminated, it will affect vegetation, agriculture and the possibility of using it as a natural source of drinking water.

What can cause contamination of groundwater resources?

Poorly functioning wastewater treatment and disposal systems result in contamination of groundwater. Careless disposal of wastes such as dumping of waste oils, vehicle/engine fluids, petroleum products and illegal dumping can affect groundwater. Excavation of quarries and canals in the vicinity of fresh water lenses can also compromise the lenses. In addition, indiscriminate use of pesticides and fertilizers may impact groundwater.

How can I help protect the Cayman Islands’ groundwater resources?

Everyone plays a role in protecting groundwater. At the individual level, you can help protect groundwater resources by: putting your household waste in the garbage for collection by the Department of Environmental Health, not dumping vehicle fluids or industrial waste, limiting your use of pesticides and fertilizers or not using these products at all, not using stormdrains to dispose of waste, maintaining your septic tank/wastewater treatment plant/disposal well, and by not using your toilet as a garbage can.

About The Laboratory

What is the Laboratory’s role with the Authority?

The Laboratory carries out testing of the Authority’s potable water supplies and wastewater treatment plant effluence, provides compliance monitoring for permits issued by the Authority, offers testing services to the public, and provides analytical support for the Authority’s groundwater monitoring programmes, as well as surface/marine water monitoring in conjunction with the Department of Environment.

What accreditation does the Laboratory have?

In 2002, the Laboratory became the first lab in the Caribbean specialising in analysing water and wastewater to achieve accreditation from the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA). Click here to see the Laboratory’s accreditation certificate. The Laboratory is audited annually in order to maintain its accreditation.


The Laboratory expanded the scope of its accreditation in 2014 to include several nutrient related testing parameters in order to ensure reliable testing of nutrients in wastewater samples.

Can I arrange a school visit to the Laboratory?

The Laboratory is just one of the Authority facilities school groups can arrange to visit. To request a tour, please fill out our convenient online form here.

Can I access the Laboratory’s water testing services?

Provided that requests for testing can be accommodated, the public can access the Laboratory’s quality control and assurance services. To learn more about requesting private tests and to view the Laboratory rates sheet, click here.

About Emergency Situations

How can I report a mainline water or sewerage emergency?

Please contact us during business hours at 94WATER (949-2837) or after hours at 946-HELP (4357).

My service has been disconnected due to non-payment, what should I do?

If your service has been interrupted due to non-receipt of payment, you must pay all outstanding charges for service as well as a reconnection charge of $25 before service can be restored.


If you know you will not be able to pay your bill in full before the due date, please contact the Customer Service Department at 94WATER (949-2837).

I have a leak in my home’s plumbing, should I contact the Authority?

The Authority is responsible for water supply pipelines up to the water meter. All pipes downstream (on the customer side) of the water meter are your responsibility. Therefore, if you suspect a leak in your home’s plumbing, please contact a licenced plumber. You can learn more about checking for a leak here. For a list of licenced plumbers, click here. If, however, you suspect a problem with your meter or see water coming from your meter, please contact the Authority as soon as possible.