Improved Sewage Treatment Facilities for Some 200,000 Portmore Residents

Story Highlights

  • The National Water Commission (NWC) has commenced operations for the transfer of effluent from the Portmore sewage pumping stations to the Soapberry Wastewater Treatment Plant in St. Catherine.
  • Under the project, which commenced in 2014, five wastewater treatment plants at Independence City, Bridgeport, Hamilton Gardens, and Caymanas Gardens, which were in disrepair, were decommissioned.
  • Corporate and Public Relations Manager for the NWC, Charles Buchanan, tells JIS News that, already, residents of Portmore should be seeing significant benefits with the removal of sewage for treatment at a newer facility that is capable of meeting the National Environment and Planning Agency Sewage Effluent Standards.

The National Water Commission (NWC) has commenced operations for the transfer of effluent from the Portmore sewage pumping stations to the Soapberry Wastewater Treatment Plant in St. Catherine.

This follows completion of the $2.3-billion Portmore Sewage Project to provide improved sewage-treatment facilities for some 200,000 residents.

Under the project, which commenced in 2014, five wastewater treatment plants at Independence City, Bridgeport, Hamilton Gardens, and Caymanas Gardens, which were in disrepair, were decommissioned.

The plants, which received a combined flow of just over 18,200 cubic metres per day, were converted into transfer pumping stations for the delivery of sewage to the Soapberry Wastewater

Treatment Plant, which has the capacity to treat some 75,000 cubic metres of sewage per day.

Operations at the stations commenced in the last quarter of 2016, and an official commissioning ceremony is expected to take place later this year.

Corporate and Public Relations Manager for the NWC, Charles Buchanan, tells JIS News that, already, residents of Portmore should be seeing significant benefits with the removal of sewage for treatment at a newer facility that is capable of meeting the National Environment and Planning Agency Sewage Effluent Standards.

“We were able to cut over to the new pipelines that were laid across the Rio Cobre River to move the sewage, which would otherwise be generated and treated at sewage treatment plants in Portmore. All of this is now being done via a new trunk main to the Soapberry treatment facility near Ferry for final treatment,” he informed.

Mr. Buchanan pointed out that with the new facilities, there will be less likelihood of breakdown. He said the project will also have a positive impact on public health and the environment, as it will prevent the discharge of effluent into drains and waterways in Portmore.

It is expected that the project will yield returns through savings in energy and maintenance costs by consolidating the sewage treatment operations from the previous five stations to the Soapberry plant.

It will also assist in improving the efficiency of operations at the NWC.

The Soapberry Wastewater Treatment Plant is overseen by the NWC and operated by Central Wastewater Treatment Company Limited.

In addition to being the primary supplier of potable water, the NWC operates some 50 sewage (wastewater) treatment plants islandwide.

The types of sewage-treatment processes used include oxidation ditch, activated sludge, waste stabilisation pond and primary treatment.

Central sewage facilities are located in Kingston and St. Andrew, south-east St. Catherine (Portmore), Montego Bay in St. James, Ocho Rios in St. Ann, and Negril in Westmoreland.

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