Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Despite rains, Logwood still below capacity

Published:Wednesday | April 26, 2017 | 4:00 AMClaudia Gardner

WESTERN BUREAU:

Despite the heavy rains which lashed the island, resulting in extreme flooding in some parishes, the Logwood Treatment Plant in Hanover is still operating way below capacity.

According to Michael Coley, the National Water Commission (NWC) parish manager for Hanover, very little or no rain has fallen in the watersheds surrounding the treatment plant, which also supplies the resort town of Negril that straddles both Hanover and Westmoreland.

"There has been no substantial amount of rain in the watershed area of Moreland Hill and Delveland, above Logwood," Coley told The Gleaner.

"Logwood is still experiencing drought. The last reading I saw this morning showed about five per cent in terms of improvement. With all the rains that fell, none fell enough in that area to improve the supply. The aquifers are still low."

FACING CRISIS

At a recent meeting in Negril, Dr Richard Meggoe, the NWC's regional water supply and distribution manager, said Logwood was facing a crisis as there has been a significant reduction of rainfall in Hanover, which has resulted in meteorologists characterising the parish as being in a state of severe drought. At the time, he said inflows to the Logwood blue hole had fallen by 80 per cent, which resulted in a reduction of output by about two million gallons per day.

The Logwood Treatment Plant, which operates 24 hours per day, was built in 1957 and obtains its water supply from the Blue Hole and Fish River springs. It is the major system in Hanover and supplies the communities of Bloody Bay, Green Island, Orange Bay, Santoy, March Town, Salt Spring, Pell River, Cove, Davis Cove, Industrial Cove, Esher, Haughton Court, Lucea, Malcolm Heights, Brissett, First Hill, Johnson Town, Elgin Town, Camel Hill and Logwood, as well as West End, Red Ground, Beach Road in Westmoreland.

According to the NWC's Parish Water Plan for Hanover, the Logwood Treatment Plant has an installed capacity of 7.5 million gallons per day, but is operating below capacity due to "certain operational challenges and the state of some elements".