Minister Dr David Estwick. (FILE)
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The South Coast needs a new sewerage system to cope with the load from expanded developments.
That was the assessment of Minister of Agriculture and Water Resource Management, Dr David Estwick, who conceded the sewerage woes being experienced by residents and businesses for the past few weeks were “serious”.
He said he had toured the area where the problems resulting from the South Coast Sewerage Plant occurred, and it was a “challenge”.
Speaking outside Parliament yesterday, Estwick said: “I sympathise with those persons who are affected. I saw for myself what those challenges were and I am going to do everything that I can to try to rectify the problem and move aggressively, to ask the Cabinet to let us get on with the construction of a new facility.”
Residents on the South Coast have been enduring the stench and messy conditions resulting from a malfunctioning South Coast Sewerage Plant which Estwick said was caused by deterioration of the distribution network over time.
He said investigations into the problems suggested “multiple breaches of the pipes” in the distribution system of the plant, which was built in the Graeme Hall Swamp in the 1990s. This could be causing “some recirculation issues”, he said.
“The challenge that we are facing with the South Coast sewerage plant and its associated distribution system is a serious one,” the minister said, and based on the reports from the internal technical experts, he indicated Government would need to engage “some expertise to help us”.
This was the area in which he said Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had been asked to make input. As a result, the Prime Minister had made contact with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler who was at an Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) meeting to request assistance.
In the interim, however, Estwick said Government was seeking out companies in California and Trinidad with expertise in the area.
“My personal opinion is I think that the plant has capacity issues. I think that when we are at the stage when you are having multiple points of deterioration, internal and external, we need to build a modern plant that will be able to manage the capacities that we have presently and the capacities coming online that are occurring on the South Coast from Sandals hotel . . . and other developments that have been built on the South Coast since the plant was built.”
He added: “We must try to find solutions as quickly as possible.” (GC)