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Story Highlights

  • Some 6,000 residents of Cascade, White Sands and Bohemia, in the parish of St. Ann, were provided with potable water, piped into their homes.
  • More than 29,000 residents of eastern St. Mary are to benefit from improvement to the water system serving their communities.
  • For the second year in a row, the NWC was adjudged to be the provider of the Best Tasting Drinking Water in the Caribbean.

The Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, led by Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, pursued several initiatives in 2013 to improve domestic water supply and upgrade sewerage systems across the island.

PROVISION OF WATER

Several projects were undertaken to provide potable water to more Jamaicans across the country.

Projects completed

Some 6,000 residents of Cascade, White Sands and Bohemia, in the parish of St. Ann, were provided with potable water, piped into their homes. On February 14, Mr. Pickersgill commissioned into service the water supply system at Cascade, built at a cost of approximately $45 million.

In July the rehabilitated Hope and Mona Water Treatment Plants were commissioned into service after being completed way ahead of its September schedule.

Rehabilitation of the Mona and Hope Water Treatment Plants was completed at a cost of $1.6 billion, through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The two facilities have a combined output of more than 40 per cent of the National Water Commission’s (NWC) water production capacity in Kingston and St. Andrew.

Over in St. Mary, more than 1,200 residents of several communities in St. Mary were provided with potable water, following completion of the $60 million Mile Gully/Warwick Castle water supply system. The system was commissioned into service on November 28 by Minister Pickersgill.

Some 300 residents of Sligoville and surrounding communities in St. Catherine now have water flowing into their homes, after living without the facility for up to six years.

This resulted from the rehabilitation of the Sligoville Water Supply System at a cost of $50 million.

On another project, some 3,500 residents of the community of York Street in Treadways, St. Catherine, and adjoining areas, now have access to potable water.

This followed the completion of work on Phase Two of the John Groyne water supply system, at a cost of $13 million.  Completion of the second phase comes two years after the first segment was concluded at a cost of $9.6 million. The project was undertaken by the Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL).

Projects commenced in 2013

Some 9,000 residents of 15 communities in Eastern Hanover are to benefit from a more reliable supply of potable water through a $225 million project for the construction of the Cascade/Claremont/Jericho supply system, which will ensure ample supply to residents of the hilly districts, which are currently served by an inadequate and intermittent scheme. It is scheduled to be completed over in 2014.

More than 29,000 residents of eastern St. Mary are to benefit from improvement to the water system serving their communities, through an $800 million project by the National Water Commission and Rural Water Supply Limited (RWSL).

The project entails extensive infrastructural works, such as improvements to the Cresser Spring water intake facility at Iterboreale and development of new water sources at Chovey; rehabilitation of the water treatment plant and pumping station also at Iterboreale; and rehabilitation of the Agualta Vale pumping station.

In addition, approximately 9,000 residents of communities in Western Westmoreland are to benefit from improved access to potable water under the Nonpareil Water Supply Mains Replacement and Upgrading Project.

The project, which is slated to cost $445 million, is being undertaken over 18 months, from May 2013 to November 2014. The beneficiary communities include: Nonpariel, Sheffield, Negril Spots, Hopewell, Retirement, Orange Hill, Little London, Mount Airy, Good Hope, Revival, Little Bay, Retreat, Brighton and Whitehall.

Minister Pickersgill also broke ground for the Martha Brae water supply rehabilitation project in Trelawny. The project, slated to cost some US$14 million, involves the construction of a water treatment plant to deal with an additional five million gallons per day (MGD). This will boost capacity from six MGD to 11 MGD. Work on this project is scheduled to last for 15 months.

Ground was also broken in September by Mr. Pickersgill, for the Lucea Pipeline Replacement and Non Revenue Water (NRW) Reduction project, valued at a projected cost of US$12.6 million.

The six-month project, which will provide employment for over 100 workers, will facilitate the construction of a new 20-inch transmission pipeline through Lucea, to allow water from the Great River Treatment Plant to better supply all areas along the corridor leading into Negril.

Some 7,000 residents of Mason River, Kellits, Sandy River, and neighbouring areas in North Clarendon will benefit from improved water supply following the completion of some $200 million worth of upgrading work on the Mason River water supply system.

The project is funded through the NWC’s K-Factor programme. The works entail replacement of existing ageing pipelines, and installation and rehabilitation of pumps, reservoirs and tanks, to enable the storage and distribution of water to householders.

Meanwhile, rehabilitation work on the Nonpareil Water Supply System in Negril, Westmoreland, which is currently underway, is scheduled for completion by the end of 2014. The $445 million project, being spearheaded by the NWC entails the installation of new transmission and distribution pipes and storage tanks, among other inputs.  The upgraded facility, when complete, will improve the water supply to residents of Sheffield, Little London, Nonpariel, Negril, Orange Hill, Mt. Airy, Good Hope, Whitehall and Mount Airy, in Westmoreland.

Work is also underway on the Banana Walk to Ferry segment of the Rio Cobre pipeline replacement project in St. Catherine, which will benefit thousands of residents of the Kingston Metropolitan Area (KMA), including Portmore.

The project, being implemented at a cost of US$24.46 million, is a component of the Jamaica Water Sector Improvement Project (JWSIP), Category B, being undertaken by the NWC. It is scheduled for completion in 2014.

A contract was also signed in November for the upgrading of the water supply to Burnt Savannah, Knoxwood and adjoining communities across south western and north eastern St. Elizabeth.  This should result in the improvement of supply in terms of efficiency and reliability for over 3,000 customers, while minimizing non-revenue water and current water losses.  The project will be implemented at a total cost of $59.6 million.

Major Kingston and St. Andrew water improvement project

In its continued effort to improve the water supply to its valued customers in the Corporate Area, the NWC signed a contract with Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Limited to undertake major rehabilitation work on some 26 water supply facilities within the Corporate Area.

Work has already started on many of these facilities, which have, over the years, lost their efficiency resulting in frequent down times. A lot of these facilities would have also outgrown their designed capacities as a result of the burgeoning population of the Kingston Metropolitan Region. Completion date of the project is the middle of 2014.

Facilities being upgraded under the Programme include Chancery Hall, Forest Hills, Hope Pastures, Gordon Town, White Marl, Ferry, Montgomery, Havendale, Ursa Major, Hydra Drive and Kirkland Heights. Rehabilitation of these very critical facilities serving thousands of customers daily, is at various stages of implementation.

The 26 Facilities Project is part of the KMA Water Supply Improvement Programme funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)/Government of Jamaica.

Best Tasting Water

For the second year in a row, the NWC was adjudged to be the provider of the Best Tasting Drinking Water in the Caribbean by a panel of water experts at the 22nd Annual Caribbean Water and Wastewater Association (CWWA) conference and exhibition, held in Barbados last October.

UPGRADING OF SEWERAGE SYSTEMS

A contract was signed in 2013 for the implementation of the NWC’s $745 million Sector F Sewerage Systems Rehabilitation Project in Majesty Gardens, Seaview Gardens and Riverton City, St. Andrew.

Just over 3,000 residents will benefit from rehabilitation works to be carried out on sewerage facilities by civil engineering firm, Ashtrom Building Systems Limited.

The scope of works will entail: replacing, where necessary, existing pipes; designing and establishing appropriate collection and conveyance systems to upgrade, retrofit and extend the present network; pipe trenching; construction of all the required manholes; and investigating and establishing the current and future needs of the sewerage system to ensure its sustainability over a minimum period of 25 years, after the project’s completion.

Liguanea area project

A $73 million project to improve the sewerage system in the Liguanea area of St. Andrew is currently underway, which should significantly protect the aquifers.

Three works are included in the project – the $33.7 million Hope Road (side roads) project; the $15 million Swallowfield Road sewerage expansion project; and the $24 million upgrading of the sewerage system serving Seymour and Retreat Avenues.

They are being carried out under the Kingston and St. Andrew (KSA) Sewerage Improvement and Expansion Project and funded through the NWC’s K-Factor programme.

Regulations

In April 2013 the Wastewater and Sludge Regulations were introduced, to ensure that sewage and sludge released from treatment plants meet prescribed standards thereby not having a detrimental impact on the environment.

Then in October, a submission was made to Cabinet relating to Jamaica’s accession to the Protocol concerning pollution from land-based sources (LBS) and activities. Mr. Pickersgill said the Regulations will allow for the provision of the LBS Protocol to be effectively implemented at the national level.

Portmore Sewerage  Project

Cabinet in October approved a contract valued at US$21 million to Surrey Paving and Aggregate Company Limited to begin work on the Portmore Sewerage Project. The contract is for 45 months and is funded from the NWC’s K-factor funds.

Key works under the project will include: construction of facilities to transfer sewage discharged into each of the existing five sewage treatment plants at Independence City, Bridgeport, Hamilton Gardens, Portmore Villas, and Caymanas Gardens, to the Soapberry treatment plant in St. Catherine;  provision of a standby generator at each pump station; construction of an administration building to operate and monitor the key operations; de-commissioning of the five existing sewage treatment plants, which are in advanced state of disrepair; and restoration of each site to acceptable condition.