Black Immigrant Daily News
The sewage system that government has been promising East End and Long Look for decades is expected to be completed this year, Deputy Premier Kye Rymer said Friday in the House of Assembly.
“By now, everyone in the Virgin Islands is familiar with the history of this project,” he said. “For many years there has been a cry from the residents of East End/Long Look for a functional sewerage system to prevent unsanitary waste running onto their streets and creating a health hazard.”
Now, bids to repair and commission the Paraquita Bay wastewater treatment plant have been received and are set to be evaluated and approved by April, and the government expects to connect the facility to East End by the end of December, Mr. Rymer said.
The United Kingdom company Biwater originally completed the Paraquita Bay plant about eight years ago, but the facility was never commissioned because government never finished laying the pipe system to connect it to houses and businesses in East End and Long Look.
Now, work is also continuing on that pipe system, according to the deputy premier.
Mr. Rymer said Friday that the tender for the supply of manholes and wet wells for the project is being evaluated, and a contract will be awarded by April.
“Once the manholes and wet wells are fabricated and supplied, this will ensure that the majority of the equipment necessary for the entire project will be on the island, as we currently have the gravity main pipes and force main pipes in stock,” said Mr. Rymer, who is also the minister of communications and works. “At the end of this month, we expect to issue a tender for the installation of gravity mains, pump stations and force main lines from Parham Town to Long Swamp. This will complete the main gravity line system that will connect the entire East End community.”
End of year
To date, the ministry has installed lateral lines in Fat Hogs Bay, which will serve all the businesses along the Blackburn Highway in the area, according to the minister.
He added, “We have completed an interconnection of the Vanterpool Estate area to the main gravity lines in the vicinity of Fine Foods Supermarket. We have also completed an interconnection of the Long Look area to the main gravity lines in the vicinity of Dr. [Kedrick] Pickering’s residence and the bus stop junction.”
The ministry will focus next on the interconnection of gravity main lines along Little Dix Road to the main gravity lines, he said.
The project, he added, is set to be completed by the end of this year.
“This means that we will finally be able to say that the sewerage system has been commissioned,” he said. “We are committed to ensuring that the East End/Long Look Sewerage Project is completed.”
Mr. Rymer said his ministry is also seeking to construct a new sludge treatment facility that will treat waste removed from the plant.
“The sludge, if treated to international standards, can be used as fertiliser for agricultural purposes,” he added. “As a result, there will be an opportunity for the farmers to utilise the fertiliser and further assist with our overall agricultural production.”
Mr. Rymer explained that the recently commissioned Cane Garden Bay treatment plant, the currently inoperational Burt Point plant, and the Paraquita Bay plant will eventually produce “a lot of sludge that will require treatment to meet international standards.”
Not all of the sludge will be used as fertiliser, so the ministry is also planning for the fabrication, installation, and commissioning of a small incinerator to destroy any sludge that remains, he added.
Mr. Rymer blamed recent delays on procurement rules that he said are being carefully followed.
“The procurement process, … which ensures a fair, transparent and competitive bid, takes time to implement,” he said, adding, “In several instances, tenders were issued and bids were received [but they were] subsequently deemed non-responsive, which required the tender to be cancelled and re-issued.”