A top official of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) is reporting a significant ease in the bothersome sewage spills along the south coast.
BWA Director of Engineering Charles Leslie said this was as a result of all pumps at the south coast sewerage plant now being functional.
In an interview with the Barbados Government Information Service today, Leslie also noted that a new ten-inch pump had been replaced after the previous pump was ruptured.
Last month, Minister with responsibility for Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick had noted during a press conference that damage to the pump stemmed from the illicit dumping of foreign objects, such as towels and meat packaging, into the sewer system.
However, Leslie said: “Over the last couple of days, the public would have recognized that the roads are now relatively dry and that’s because all of our pumps are functioning now.
“All of our influent pumps, including the new ten-inch pump and all of the effluent pumps are operational as well,” he added.
With residents and business operators along the south coast anxious to see the back of the current spills after having been disappointed more than once with the fixes introduced by the authorities, Leslie further stuck his neck out in stating that any overflows should now be minimal, even though the BWA was yet to repair the compromised sewerage lines.
However, he said the authority would in the meantime commenced work on the second of three injection wells, which are to be used temporarily to facilitate the discharge of sewage underground so remedial work can be carried out on the breached sewer lines.
Leslie said the authority had already drilled to a depth of just over 140-feet underground, and was hoping to reach approximately 150-feet by the end of Friday.
He explained that the ultimate depth of the wells would be determined by the geology of the area, adding that once they have reached the desired depth, they would then focus on “removing the finds and so forth from that well.”
“After we do that, we‘re going to be dealing with the insertion of the casing in the well and we’re going to start that casing and grouting over the weekend.”
The Director of Engineering also noted that the pipe infrastructure connecting the wells to the plant was almost complete.
“That pipeline is already in place for the three wells …we just have a small piece to install at the head of the plant and that is going to be completed early next week,” he said, adding that the results of dye tracing tests on the first well were soon expected from the overseas laboratory.
The BWA is also to begin testing on the well next week to determine its capacity.
“Pump testing of a well allows you to get capacity of the well, [this is] the ability to either absorb water or to extract water. We’re going to be doing extraction, so we’re going to start at a very low quantity, then we will go up to what we think is half the capacity, then full capacity, then we’ll go up to what we think is 150-percent of the particular well, and that information we would’ve gotten from the geological data that we would’ve gotten from the initial boreholes,” the BWA spokesman explained.
He said that the testing would allow for determination as to whether the three wells which are being dug would accept the full waste from the plant or if additional wells would be needed.
The BWA has explained that the injection wells would be used for a short period to facilitate the installation of sewer by-pass systems, thereby allowing for repairs to be carried out on the breached section of the sewerage network.