Headquarters of the Barbados Water Authority. (FILE)
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Eight major pieces of equipment are in dire need of repair to restore Barbados’ failing sewerage system, particularly the non-functioning South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant which, after years of deterioration, stopped primary treatment of sewage in January, 2014.
According to a February 2016 document prepared by Patricia Inniss, former water quality consultant for the Barbados Water Authority, the sewerage system has been struggling for years to maintain basic functions in the face of growing disabling conditions.
“These still prevailing circumstances now leave the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant [BSTP], the South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant [SCSTP] and their connecting sewer networks in such a damaged state that either too many of their vital operations are forced to work continuously at maximum capacity, are failing or have totally shut down,” the document noted.
In need of repair, it said, were nine lift stations – which housed pumps in sump wells and pump sewage through the network to the plants – five servicing the South Coast and four plus the River Road Pumping Station servicing the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant.
Other problems included the absence of sluice gates or their functioning poorly; faulty odour control units; non-return valves in need of repair; air valves on SCSTP force mains not working; River Road Pumping Station in need of repair; sewer manholes in need of repair, and most of the diffusers in the ocean outfalls not functioning.
Specifically on the South Coast were screw lift pumps in need of repair; extractor fans and odour control unit not working; air handler not working; medium screens not working; grit removal not functioning; conveyor belts not working, and compressor and fine screens not working.
The document said repairs needed to be conducted on the hoses of the combo jetter and suction truck, and the CCTV truck to make them operational to allow for sewer lines inspections and flushing schedules. (AB)