The Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change is urging residents served by the Mona and Hope Treatment Plants in St. Andrew to brace for temporary interruptions in their water supply as the rehabilitation of the plants get underway.
Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony for the extensive repair of the treatment plants at the Mona Reservoir Complex on Thursday, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Robert Pickersgill assured that such disruptions would be very minimal.
The Minster further informed that the majority of the work on the project would not be noticeable and that traffic related disruptions are expected to be minimal.
“The contractors will make every effort to keep these and any other disruptions to an absolute minimum, but some disruptions will be necessary as the work to provide a better service is implemented,” he stated.
Manager, Public Relations, National Water Commission, Charles Buchanan, told JIS News that the company intends to make every effort to inform customers beforehand of any disruptions in their water supply as the project progresses.
He said this would be done by way of press releases and other paid advertisements via the electronic and print media.
“However there might be instances in which we may have an emergency disruption. If this occurs, and we hope it doesn’t, the customer may feel the impact before we are able to inform them of it. In that case, the NWC will send out an emergency notice to inform customers of the reasons behind such a disruption,” he stated.
Mr. Buchanan however sought to assure that based on the nature of the rehabilitation work; there will be very few disruptions.
The rehabilitation works at the Mona and Hope Treatment Plants are estimated to cost some $1.5 billion and will be undertaken by VINCI Construction Grand Projects.
The project is expected to last for 18 months and is being implemented by the NWC with financial assistance from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The Mona Water Treatment Plant is connected to the country’s largest raw water storage reservoir. Its rehabilitation will include, increasing the daily production of water from 13.5 million gallons per day to 16 million gallons per day.
Works will also involve repairing 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; repair to existing buildings, walkways and miscellaneous structures, and the replacement of backwash pumps.
The existing storm water drainage system protecting the Mona Water treatment plant will also be upgraded under the project.
In regards to the Hope Water Treatment Plant, which is one of the oldest plants in Jamaica and the region, rehabilitation work will seek to improve water quality and reliability. Sections of the aqueduct and the Hope River will also be upgraded.
On completion, the Hope Water Treatment Plant is expected to be restored to its original design capacity of 6.5 million gallons per day.
The works will include, rehabilitation of intake structure on the Hope River; rehabilitation of raw water channel, aqueduct, gravel and silt traps; improvements to chemical dosing equipment; repairs and modifications to the settlement tank; repairs and improvements to slow sand filters including re-sanding; building rehabilitations and the repair of a raw water transfer pumping station located at Mona.
The repair of the two facilities is considered highly critical, as combined they represent nearly 50 per cent of the NWC’s water production capacity in all of Kingston and St. Andrew, making them the second and third largest systems in the area.
By Athaliah Reynolds-Baker, JIS Reporter