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The quality and reliability of water supply to over 200,000 residents in the Corporate Area should be significantly improved, as the Mona and Hope water treatment plants have been rehabilitated at a cost of $1.6 billion.

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.

Speaking at the official commissioning ceremony at the Mona Reservoir complex on June 27, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, noted that the newly rehabilitated plants will provide savings for the NWC in terms of operating efficiencies and will also benefit customers in terms of service quality.

He pointed out thatin a world that is increasingly being impacted by climate change, it is important that the island’s infrastructure be built and maintained to withstand increasing and unpredictable demands.

“In other words, water supply systems have to be able to reasonably cope with drought one moment, flooding and turbidity the next and the attendant howling winds and pelting rains of a hurricane the next,” the Minister said.

Mr. Pickersgill further noted that the rehabilitation project represents recognition by the NWC of the importance of building a culture of maintenance, so that the country’s existing infrastructure can serve better, longer and be far more efficient.

“This is very important if we, as a country, are to get the very best out of our existing infrastructure and to contain the costs that would otherwise be involved if we were to be constantly constructing new facilities,” he said.

The Mona Water treatment plant is the second largest such facility in Jamaica and is connected to the country’s largest raw water storage reservoir. The rehabilitation effort has restored the facility to its original designed capacity of 16 million gallons per day, up from the previous average daily production of 13.5 million gallons per day.

The work involved the repair of the rapid gravity filters, and the replacement of filter media; installation of automation and regulation controls and equipment, meters and valves; rehabilitation of chemical dosing equipment, including new chlorination facilities; repairs to existing buildings, walkways and other structures; replacement of backwash pumps; upgrading of the storm water drainage system protecting the plant during flood rains, storms and hurricanes, and rehabilitation of the raw water pumping station located at Mona, which serves the Hope filter plant.

In the meantime, the Hope Water Treatment Plant was rehabilitated to restore it to its earlier design capacity of 6.5 million gallons per day.

Mr. Pickersgill outlined that the works included the rehabilitation of intake structure on the Hope River; rehabilitation of more than two miles of raw water channel, aqueduct, gravel and silt traps; replacement of chemical dosing equipment; repairs to buildings and other structures; repairs and modifications to the settlement tank; and repairs and improvements to slow sand filters, including re-sanding.

The Minister pointed out that the project was completed within budget and on time.

Contact: Andrea Braham