KINGSTON — Significant progress is being made on the Constant Spring Water Treatment Plant in Stony Hill, which is being refurbished under the Jamaica Water Supply Improvement Project (JWSIP) at a cost of US$10 million.
The project, which is about 70 per cent complete, includes the construction of new basins and reagents, addition systems for pre-treatment, and refurbishing intakes such as values, flow metres. It is expected to be completed in March 2012.
During a tour of the facility on Friday (November 18), Minister of Housing, Environment, Water and Local Government, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang, said that the plant, which was designed to have a capacity of 20 million gallons per day, had deteriorated to about 12 million gallons per day.
"The refurbishing work will restore it to 20 million gallons per day which will ensure more reliable and constant supply of water basically for all of the Corporate Area,” Dr. Chang said.
The JWSIP, which is divided into segments A and B, is the single largest project ever undertaken by the National Water Commission (NWC). It has a total cost of $17 billion (US$211 million) and, on completion, will bring an additional 20 million gallons of water to residents in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine and other areas of Jamaica.
"It is part of the Government’s programme not only to recapitalise the water company but to ensure that the south eastern region, extending from central St. Catherine through south St. Catherine to the Corporate Area as far as Harbour View, will have a reliable modern efficient water system within the next 24 months. The Corporate Area is our largest city and it demands a modern system at this time and that is what we intend to do,” Dr. Chang stated.
Under phase two of JWSIP, a new treatment plant will be constructed in Angels, St. Catherine, which will bring into the system, another 15 million gallons of water per day.
"We will finish replacing the pipeline, which extends from Tulloch Spring into the Corporate Area. Those asbestos pipes are losing water like a sieve, just replacing the pipes alone not only makes it more reliable, but saves us about two million gallons of water per day…so it is part of rehabilitating the whole process," the Minister stated.
He further informed that more than 21 wells in the Corporate Area will be rehabilitated under the programme, while there will be an increase in supply to the rural areas from 47 per cent to about 60 per cent of the population.
In his remarks, Member of Parliament for West Rural St. Andrew, Hon. Andrew Gallimore commented that the JWSIP was significantly enhancing the quality of life of thousands of residents in the area.
"It's a major plus," he said, noting that many residents are now getting regular water supply, while others will benefit from improvement works that are underway or to come on stream.
JWSIP is intended to eliminate or eradicate water lock-offs in many affected areas. The additional water will mean that housing and other developments can take place in areas, which previously had no dependable water supplies.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter