The mains laying portion of a $50 million IDB-funded Water and Sanitation System Upgrade Project will start soon.
Minister responsible for Water Resources Management Dr David Estwick said this morning the primary objective of the venture was to effectively and efficiently install the water mains over a five year period.
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Barbados Water Authority’s mains water pipeline extension project at the Belle Pumping Station, Estwick said the project would involve the replacement of about one-third of approximately 12.3 kilometres of prioritised mains between February 2014 and February 2016.
Addressing the gathering, which included Minister of Health John Boyce, chairman of IFL Pipelines Inc. Ralph “Bizzy” Williams and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, Estwick said about 19.2 km of new transmissions mains and associated pumping station upgrades would be installed over 12 months following conclusion of the loan agreement.
He said there would also be replacement of the regular in-house mains, those associated with private developments and road works and other government agency programmes, estimated at 10.5 kilometres per year.
The minister disclosed that the mains laying project would provide employment for both the Capital Works Unit of the BWA and the private sector.
Estwick informed the attendees that about 49 kilometres of existing mains would be replaced and divided into three packages.
“Package A consists of five individual routes located in the south-eastern part of the island in the parish of St Philip. This will see 12.3 kilometres of pipelines, estimated at five million (Barbados dollars) being installed,” he stated.
“Package B is a total of 21 kilometres, located in the eastern part of the island, spanning the parishes of St Philip, St George, St John and St Joseph.
“Package C will be replacing a total of 15.5 kilometres of main, ranging between 8 inch and 16 inch diameter, located in Bridgetown, parts of St. George and the northern parts of St. Lucy,” he announced.
Estwick noted, too, that the Authority would soon embark on an islandwide meter replacement programme, which will see a number of smart meters being installed to replace the existing ones.
“With the installation of these meters, the BWA expects to have improved accuracy in determining the quantum of water delivered to its customers,” he added.
He explained that these meters were designed to register only what water was consumed by the customer.
“Furthermore, through this expansive mains laying programme, it [BWA] is making every effort to reduce the level of non revenue water by modernising its infrastructure and replacing the plethora of leaking mains throughout the island,” concluded Estwick.
BWA Chairman Dr Atlee Brathwaite expressed relief that after protracted discussions with the Barbados Workers Union, the ionics pipeline project was finally underway.