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JIS News

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  • The Central Wastewater Treatment Company (CWTC) Limited, which operates the Soapberry Wastewater Treatment Plant in St. Catherine, is looking into the feasibility of making treated water from the plant available for irrigation purposes.
  • This was disclosed by Managing Director of CWTC Limited, Keith Goodison, at a JIS Think Tank on October 7.
  • He noted that the study is expected to indicate the level of consistency in the water quality and the frequency of demand for the water, among other things.

The Central Wastewater Treatment Company (CWTC) Limited, which operates the Soapberry Wastewater Treatment Plant in St. Catherine, is looking into the feasibility of making treated water from the plant available for irrigation purposes.

This was disclosed by Managing Director of CWTC Limited, Keith Goodison, at a JIS Think Tank on October 7.

“We’re doing a study and we expect to have a position by next year. We’re looking at hardy crops like sugar cane to use the water as it has nutrients that are consistent with expansion of those crops. So by next year (October), we should be able to define clearly how we go about using the reused (treated) water,” he said.

He noted that the study is expected to indicate the level of consistency in the water quality and the frequency of demand for the water, among other things.

Mr. Goodison said that such a move would reduce the pressure on the National Water Commission’s (NWC) resources and increase the availability of potable water for residential use.

He informed that specialised equipment would have to be put in place to allow for the supply of the water.

The US$50 million Soapberry facility, which treats wastewater from Kingston and St. Andrew and parts of St. Catherine, is having a major impact in addressing the pollution of the Kingston Harbour.

The sewage, which enters the ponds at the plant, is converted into clear water which meets stringent international standards of being clean enough to be pumped into the nearby Rio Cobre leading into the harbour, or to be used in the irrigation of agricultural lands.

Mr. Goodison told JIS News that there is close collaboration with the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA) to ensure that quality standards are being met.

“We have to submit reports on a quarterly basis to NEPA. We have to tell them exactly what we have done and how we’ve done it because we discharge into the Rio Cobre, which goes into the sea. These reports are monitored and tabled to keep track of the performances,” he informed.

The Soapberry Treatment Plant, which is in its seventh year of commercial operation, is handling 68 per cent of its 18 million gallons daily capacity.

This is expected to change dramatically with the inclusion of additional housing developments including Caymanas Estate, and other projects in Portmore and Kingston and St. Andrew.