Government trying to avoid complete shutdown of South Coast
Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrahams
The issues plaguing the South Coast Sewage Plant continues to give government headaches and they are hoping that the entire stretch of Highway does not need to be excavated in order to fix.
Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Wilfred Abrams, along with the General Manager of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA), Keith Halliday, held a press conference today to provide updates on the state of both the Bridgetown and South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant.
Abrams said while the Bridgetown Plant will soon be “under control”, the South Coast fix was proving more diffiuclt.
The six injection wells which were ordered to be constructed under the previous administration, at a cost of $3.7 million were revealed by the Minister to be nothing more than just a temporary fix and are functioning as disposal wells to hold sewage.
“We do not have injection wells at the South Coast Sewage Plant, we are unable to determine how deep the wells are and this is something that is causing us great concern,” Abrams told reporters.
He said the team is about to start construction of a eight inch outfall off Graeme Hall, estimated at just over $2 million, and will address the levels of affluent running into the Swamp.
He also revealed another issue is the discovery a breach in two lines in the network, the inflow line and the force main, as showed in dye tests, which means there is no outlet for the waste to get out. He said they are close to identifying where the breaches are and the goal is to correct it internally.
Abrams said if this internal fix is impractical and the line needs to be replaced the BWA will need to dig up the road on Highway 7 from Graeme Hall to the traffic lights on Rendezvous- an exercise which will involve all utility and emergency services.
He said this will only be a last resort.
“The road would have to be blocked and at some time we would have to restrict access entirely to that area because of how dangerous it is to do it. Digging up that road is the last option for us because to dig and fix that will take months.”
“If there is a chance that we can fix it without digging up the road that is what we intend to do, if we however we reach a point that the breach is too big to be sealed from the inside then that is what we will do. But we are not going about it willy-nilly.”
He added the Ministry will provide an update in a week in regards to the whether the fix to the sewer line can be done internally or if another option will be taken.
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