$2m. Project New Underway.
WATER woes experienced by residents of Micoud, Desruisseaux, and environs over the past years may be a thing of the past by the end of June this year.
This was the understanding coming from officials in the water sector who toured water treatment plants in the communities last Thursday.
Works are ongoing on the water treatment plants of those east coast communities costing well over EC$2 million and promises, on completion, to provide residents in Desruisseaux, for instance, with a new water intake– the old one was destroyed by Hurricane Tomas in 2010– and a water treatment plant with equipment that could handle high levels of turbidity.
“What is being done here is the preparation of concrete slabs for equipment we have at the docks that when installed are going to improve the water treatment process,” Aly Anthony, WASCO’s Operations Manager (Senior) said, speaking to reporters about the treatment plant at Desruisseaux.
The community, along with several others on both the east and west coasts, have been battling an unreliable water supply from WASCO for many years.
WASCO’s efforts at responding to the annoyance experienced by the residents as a result of water shortages have not been very successful due to a number of factors caused by both man and nature.
Hurricane Tomas in 2010, torrential rains in succeeding years and human activities that disturb land, such as construction, mining and agriculture have all significantly contributed to the unreliable water supply to those communities.
As Anthony explained, those factors contribute large amounts of turbidity to nearby water, which currently installed treatment equipment is unable to handle hence the reason for the constant shut down of the treatment plants and the unavailability of pipe borne water to residents.
There has been an effort by government to address the problems existing in the water sector starting a few years ago with the introduction of a 66 percent increase in water rates, 10.43 percent of which is to finance the dredging of the John Compton Dam, where there are high levels of sediment levels.
WASCO has since promised that the problems with the dam will be tackled this year as part of an overall development plan for the country’s water sector which includes a major project in the south costing over US$20 million which on completion will provide residents of Vieux Fort and Laborie with a reliable source of water.
Nothing so far has been outlined for communities on the west coast but James Fletcher, the Minister responsible for the water sector conceded that that region too needed attention.
Micoud residents are closest to receiving a reliable water supply, which even Minister Fletcher admits has been overdue.
The problem confronting the Micoud community, as with other rural communities, is the frequency of very high levels of turbidity in the water flowing into the treatment plants. A newly built facility next to the main holding facility at the Micoud Treatment Plant will take care of the turbidity problem.
This new facility is called a Roughing Filter which will be able to break down the high levels of turbidity in water that enters the plant. It contains more than one chamber through which the water passés before it goes into the holding tank. On arrival at the holding tank the water is now at a stage whereby standard procedures for its treatment can be successfully applied for onward distribution to residents. No longer will the main tank be shut off as in the past due to high levels of turbidity.
“This roughing filter will ensure the residents of Micoud and environs have a much more reliable source of water,” Fletcher said.
The Roughing Filter is complete and according to Anthony should be in operation within the next two months.