Sewage system upgrade for Bay Farm Villas
Residents of Bay Farm Villas and neighbouring communities will soon be able to breathe easier, literally, following the recent official groundbreaking ceremony for construction of a new sewage conveyance system and pumping house to serve Olympic Court, Simmonds Park, Andrew Mews, Compound, and Rhoden Crescent in St Andrew.
Constructed in 1973, the old pump house is prone to malfunctions, creating discomfort for residents well beyond its boundaries, Glendon Salmon, councillor-caretaker for the Molynes Division, told The Gleaner via telephone following the official commissioning of the start of work by Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
"It breaks down from time to time and brings a stench, an odour, and [raw sewage] flows over into Joshua Edwards Gully, affecting other communities. So the residents appreciate it for two major reasons: they will be able to breathe easier, and it will provide some well-needed employment," Salmon explained. "So if we have cleaner air, it means that people will live longer."
This Bay Farm Villas rehabi-litation, slated for completion by October at a cost of US$1.03 million, is being financed under a special arrangement that involves the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme, and the governments of some Caribbean countries.
It is part of a long-term overarching plan by the National Water Commission (NWC), using funds provided through the Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (CReW), to improve and upgrade its facilities across the island, targeting three conveyance systems and pump stations and three wastewater treatment ponds in St Andrew, St Catherine, and Clarendon.
The contract, signed on October 28, 2015, covers the scope of work for Acadia, Bay Farm Villas, Hughenden, Blackwood Gardens, De la Vega City, and Lionel Town sewerage treatment plants.
The NWC has employed the strategy of using the GEF-CReW grant funds of US$3 million to facilitate a credit-enhancement fund mechanism, which will obtain capital financing from local financial institutions to the tune of US$12 million for at least 12 years to finance the rehabilitation or replacement of wastewater treatment facilities, or construction activities to enable the decommissioning of those that can be connected to a central collection system.
This will include the decommissioning of treatment facilities at Acadia, Bay Farm Villas, and Hughenden in St Andrew and rehabilitation and upgrading of the Blackwood Gardens wastewater facility and the De la Vega City wastewater ponds in St Catherine, as well as the Lionel Town wastewater lagoon in Clarendon.
Some of the benefits include:
- Reduced contamination of groundwater to meet the effluent standards stipulated by the National Environment and Planning Agency.
- Improved service levels and greater customer satisfaction in St Andrew, Clarendon, and St Catherine.
- Replacement of deteriorated and malfunctioning waste-water treatment plants.
- Reduced risk to public health.