A major step has been taken to faciliate the installation of a much needed permanent outfall for the South Coast sewage system.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams today revealed to Barbados TODAY that Cabinet had given its approval for the permanent outfall to be designed by Canadian marine and coastal engineering consultancy firm Baird Associates.
He said once everything goes according to plan the new outfall would be in place by October of next year.
“Right now we have a stabilisation of the south coast sewage system so it is operating as well as it can without a permanent fix; the permanent fix being the permanent outfall as well as the upgrade and rebuild of the sewage treatment plant to tertiary treatment.
“Cabinet approved the first step towards the construction of the permanent outfall with the contractor Baird, so they are going to design and start that process so we can send it out to bids and to tender and get it going,” Abrahams said.
“The intention still is to have the permanent outfall construction entirely completed and operational by about September, October next year…”
He explained that the permanent outfall would take the water to a depth of at least 30 metres to avoid any effluent issues.
Abrahams said even though the temporary outfall currently in place was working sufficiently, it could not be used as a long-term solution.
“We are having no problems now at all with the water quality or any effects from the temporary outfall, but the temporary outfall is exactly that, it’s temporary. It was built in a hurry so it will not survive a major weather event. It is not a permanent solution and those pipes are not designed to last for years,” the Minister said.
He however, said there was a backup plan in the event the temporary outfall was damaged.
Abrahams also revealed that attention was being paid to flushing the sewage system and three contractors had been hired to carry out the exercise to ensure there were no more blockages.
“One contractor has finished his part already and that is Project Recycle. Antiseptic Limited I believe is very, very close to completing theirs at which point Polly [Septic Services] is expected to start early in May. By the time Polly is done we would have flushed the entire network and removed all the blockages that are in that system,” Abrahams explained.
The Minister praised members of his ministry as well as those from the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), who he said had worked around the clock to bring the sewage system up to par.
However, he warned that there needed to be behavioural change from Barbadians if the system was to perform at its optimum level.
“We inherited a problem that was years in the making and we’ve managed to get it under control to a point where Barbadians are actually forgetting what was happening a couple months ago and we’ve done that in less than a year,” Abrahams said.
“But persons can no longer continue to pour grease and dump wood into the sewers, or drop debris into manholes.” email@example.com