JIS News

Water and Housing Minister, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, says the Ministry is looking at implementing central wastewater treatment systems in major towns islandwide, where householders and businesses currently resort to the on-site disposal process that incorporates septic tanks and pits.
These towns include: Falmouth, Trelawny; Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland; May Pen, Clarendon; and Old Harbour and the western end of Spanish Town, in St Catherine.
Speaking with journalists following a tour of the Barbican/Paddington Terrace central wastewater works project in St. Andrew, on October 13, Dr. Chang said the move towards implementing central waste water systems in these areas is necessary, in light of the extent of urbanization and development occurring in many of these locales.
While noting that the process is an “expensive” one, the Minister pointed out that central wastewater systems are a pivotal part of modern sustainable development activities, adding that the on-site disposal facilities “lead to contamination of our underground water resources.”
Dr. Chang said that work, in terms of central wastewater system development, has already been done in several urban centres and their environs. These include: Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
“We have completed the sewer line which takes the Cornwall Court (system) in Montego Bay to the Bogue plant, and there are other areas of Montego Bay to which we have to extend central sewer facilities,” he informed.
The Minister said some work has also been completed in the Corporate Area, with more to be undertaken in due course. Central lines already installed include those serving Stadium Gardens; areas adjacent to Sabina Park; and the Hopefield Avenue/Lady Musgrave Road area.
“We are currently negotiating to ensure we can take out some of the old mechanical plants that are below the required standards in the Portmore area, and as Kingston grows, we would like to bring central wastewater treatment to the whole Hughenden, Havendale and Hope Pastures areas, and we are confident that we will be able to put that in an investment programme in the medium term,” he said.
Dr. Chang pointed out that on-site wastewater disposal with septic tanks and pits restrict development in the areas that have no central wastewater treatment provisions.
“If we are to ensure effective and proper planning, and sustainable development of the urban areas, we have to introduce central wastewater collection systems,” he emphasised.

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