Within the next year the solution to the effluent flowing from the South Coast sewage plant could be in place, the former acting general manager of the Barbados Water Authority now overseeing the fix has declared.
Dr John Mwansa, now a technical advisor to the BWA, gave the assurance that the construction of a permanent outfall for the South Coast Sewage system, to begin in 2020, would solve the problem completely.
Dr Mwansa made the declaration during a town hall meeting yesterday at the Hawthorn Methodist Church, Worthing, Christ Church, where residents and businesses in the area were given an update on the upcoming project.
Construction work on the $46 million permanent outfall, which is being funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), is set to begin next May and last four months, he said.
He added that with the work being done during the hurricane season, there was a possibility the project may take a bit longer.
Dr Mwansa said: “We are looking to award the contract in early January and then we have an immobilization period between February and April where the contractors will plan all of their logistics, import all of the equipment that is required as well as procure the pipes and fittings that are required.
“Construction will physically start from May and hopefully we should finish by October subject to weather conditions permitting, because we will be in the hurricane season so if we have disturbances we may have to delay some of the work, but the intention is that there is a four-month window for constructing and we should be completed by then.”
He said much consideration had gone into selecting the method which would be used to install the outfall.
The former head of the BWA said the temporary outfall currently being used was not sufficient.
“We have chosen the least disruptive in terms of disrupting the environment, the businesses, as well as the traffic and methodology for installing the permanent outfall.
“Additionally, it is the least expensive option based on the alternatives we had looked at and we expect that it will provide the solution that is needed for a more permanent solution because it will be strong enough to withstand hurricanes, which the temporary outfall is not designed to do.
“It is the permanent solution for dealing with the effluent from the plant.
“The permanent solution to the problems we had on the sewage system include the upgrading of the South Coast sewage treatment plant to tertiary level, where we will be producing the quality of water which you could use to irrigate agricultural crops as well as to recharge the aquifer,” he said.
Dave Anglin, a consultant with Baird & Associates, which had been contracted by Government since 2018 to spearhead the project, told the small gathering that the permanent outfall was the best alternative.
Studies had shown that the problems with the South Coast sewage plant had arisen mainly because the population in that area had doubled since the plant was built, he explained.
Anglin said even though the temporary outfall had been installed, it had several weaknesses, including the fact it had not been built to withstand severe weather systems.