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Story Highlights

  • Work is to begin shortly on the construction of wastewater treatment plants at Boscobel in St. Mary; and Elletson Flats in St. Andrew.
  • The projects, being implemented by the National Water Commission (NWC) at a cost of US$4.2 million, include the design, construction, installation, testing and commissioning of the plants.
  • Some of the benefits include: reducing contamination of groundwater and meeting the effluent standards as stipulated by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA); improving service levels and customer satisfaction; and reducing risks to public health.

Work is to begin shortly on the construction of wastewater treatment plants at Boscobel in St. Mary; and Elletson Flats in St. Andrew.

The projects, being implemented by the National Water Commission (NWC) at a cost of US$4.2 million, include the design, construction, installation, testing and commissioning of the plants.  The contractor for the undertaking is Vinci Construction Grands Projets.

Some of the benefits include: reducing contamination of groundwater and meeting the effluent standards as stipulated by the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA); improving service levels and customer satisfaction; and reducing risks to public health.

Speaking at the contract signing ceremony on October 7, at the NWC’s New Kingston offices, Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill, explained that financing for the undertaking falls under the Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (CReW).

“Under a special arrangement that involves the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the CReW project provides collateral resources that have enabled NWC to borrow the equivalent of US$12 million from NCB (National Commercial Bank), to finance sewerage improvement projects,” he outlined.

Providing details on the projects, the Minister explained that the NWC intends to replace the Boscobel plant with a new 600 cubic meters per day capacity plant, on land adjacent to the existing treatment system.

“Provision will also be made for the expansion of this plant by an additional 600 cubic meters per day in phase two of the project in the future. The expansion of this system will have the capacity to treat current sewage flows to it as well as the sewage from a new housing scheme, as well as other such planned sub-divisions,” he informed.

The existing system was designed to treat the wastewater generated from 40 housing units in the Boscobel Housing Scheme.

Turning to the Elletson Flats plant, the Minster said the existing facility is in need of significant rehabilitation as it is “seriously under-performing”.

“The facility is a contact stabilisation-type treatment plant with capacity of 1,100 cubic metres per day. The decision was taken to construct a new wastewater treatment plant with similar capacity at the same location. As far as possible, existing structures are to be incorporated in the new treatment plant,” he said.

Minister Pickersgill informed that the contractor will be required to operate the constructed facilities for a period of no longer than 24 months after they are successfully commissioned into service.

Deputy Chairman of the NWC Board of Commissioners, Marjorie Fyffe-Campbell, said the continued implementation of sewerage projects across the country will assist in protecting and preserving the environment.

She said upgrading of the plants will bring relief from many of the problems previously experienced from these facilities.

Giving his company’s commitment to the project, Country Manager, Vinci Construction Grands Projets, Timothee Delebarre, informed that the designs have already started for the erection of the plants.

“You can expect Vinci to demonstrate first world standards in terms of professionalism in …design, construction and operation using all local resources as may be available,” he pledged.