Wed | Sep 30, 2020

Water supply plans in the pipeline for Lawrence Tavern

Published:Wednesday | August 5, 2020 | 12:18 AMJonielle Daley/Gleaner Intern
A man pumps water from a truck to a house in Pigeon Valley in West Rural St Andrew. Residents have complained that they have not had any water in their pipes for up to six months and have had to be buying water.
A man pumps water from a truck to a house in Pigeon Valley in West Rural St Andrew. Residents have complained that they have not had any water in their pipes for up to six months and have had to be buying water.

Residents of Lawrence Tavern and its surroundings are expected to get a steady supply of water in the near future.

This as the National Water Commission (NWC), in collaboration with the Water Resources Authority (WRA), has received a licence to extract 615,000 gallons of water per day from the New River in Essex Hall to supply the rest of the Lawrence Tavern division.

Residents in Grant Hill, Unity and Pigeon Valley have been without running water for at least three months now because of the dry spell.

While some residents are earning an income from supplying water to the community, others have had to account for added expenses.

DIFFICULT PROCESS

Lisa Dacres, a resident of Grant Hill, explained that the process of getting water into her house is an extremely difficult one.

After pumping the precious commodity from the supplier in a tank 40 metres away from her house, they have to use a hose to get it into other storage containers.

“Four of the containers full up my drum and that serves for about two weeks,” she said.

One container holding 400 gallons of water was initially sold for $1,500. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the price has increased to $1,700.

The local government ministry has arranged a schedule for trucks to supply the division with water. However, the supply has not been consistent as one of the main sources of water has dried up.

Dacres explained that they have to purchase water every two weeks for her household of eight.

“When I buy the water, I tell my kids to use it with caution. If you used to use two buckets to wash, use one,” she noted.

Member of Parliament Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn explained that the four tributaries that flow into Lawrence Tavern are not enough to supply the over 10,000 residents in and around the area.

She said she is working with the WRA and the NWC to provide substantial water supply for Lawrence Tavern, Content and Rose Hill.

PLANNING NOW UNDERWAY

A representative from the NWC said the requisite technical and financial planning to prepare the conceptual design is being done. However, he was unable to say when the project will officially begin.

The community of Pigeon Valley, from Grant Hill, will see the inception of a water treatment plant at the Pigeon Valley River to supply the community with water for domestic use.

Councillor John Myers said, “The water will be processed and we will have an area where we can full tanks. It will be tied into the local system.

“We are hoping that ground will be broken in at least two weeks,” he added.

Myers said the same project will be executed along the river in Top Road to supply Burn Shop and Mount Ogle.

He told The Gleaner that the total cost for construction of the plants could reach as high as $15 million.