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Sewage treatment plant woes for Hanover

Published:Thursday | March 25, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Stakeholders in the town of Lucea in Hanover will have to rethink their strategy for a sewage-treatment plant, as there are no plans by the National Water Commission to undertake any such construction.

"The town of Lucea is too small to construct a central sewage system," Water and Housing Minister Dr Horace Chang disclosed at a recent meeting at the Hanover Parish Council.

He admitted that it was very costly to construct such a system and there were not enough funds within the NWC's budget to undertake the project.

"Any business or hotel that is planning a development within the parish, or even in the Lucea area, will have to construct their own waste-treatment system," explained Dr Chang.

Troublesome problem

Councillor for the Lucea division, Easton Edwards, argued that the lack of a main sewage-treatment plant was becoming troublesome.

"There is evidence of sewage running on to the streets of Lucea and it is only a matter of time before there is an outbreak of diseases of some sort."

While acknowledging that there are no funds to construct a sewage system, Councillor Edwards suggested that in the interim the council could withdraw the effluent from the manholes, with monetary assistance.

Chairman of the Hanover Parish Council, Mayor Lloyd Hill, revealed that more than 20,000 residents within Lucea and adjoining areas would be served by a central sewage system.

Maxine Hamilton, executive director of the Negril Area Environment Protection Trust, explained that not having a central sewage system to treat residential and commercial waste creates a problem for the aquatic life.

"With the absence of a proper sewage system to connect to, most persons, especially residential homes, will have to utilise the soak-away method, and if the homes and businesses are located close to the coastline, substances from the waste, such as nitrates and phosphorus, will seep into the sea."