Just about five thousand persons are to benefit from the upgrade of the Mardigras water treatment plant.
The plant, which suffered significant deterioration, was commissioned last week Thursday during a brief ceremony held at the Mardigras International Pentecostal Assembly Church.
NAWASA’s General Manager, Christopher Husbands disclosed that the commissioning ceremony marks the completion of the second phase of the four-phase replacement and upgrade programme for the Mardigras system at a cost of just over $1m.
In the first phase that was completed in 2010, $1.5m was spent. It is estimated that $4m would be spent on the overall project improving the water supply in Mardigras.
Husbands said NAWASA is now able to treat the raw water that comes in at the plant to meet the increasing challenges that it has.
He spoke of the “serious challenges” the utility company face at the catchment area above the dam at Apsley Hill.
He said the increases in housing and farming provide increased costs and challenges for NAWASA to treat the water.
“I want to make an appeal… to persons in the Apsley Hill area that are engaged in activities above the dam to continually work along with us, ensuring that there are safe living and farming practices that do not jeopardise the quality of the water that we have to extract to treat, and thereby also increase our continued cost,” he told the gathering.
The upgraded pipelines would serve the communities from Mardigras through to Africa, Back Street and Mt. Parnassus.
The NAWASA boss disclosed that $750,000 is budgeted for further line replacement in the Antoine area for 2013 while a further $750,000 is earmarked for use in 2014 to complete other lines.
Stating that investments in water supply are expensive, Husbands said that estimates show that NAWASA would need approximately $60m over the next five years to meet strategic investments in water and waste water as it keeps pace with increased population.
The Mardigras treatment plant was first commissioned in the early 1980’s.
Member of the Board of Directors of the state-owned utility, Trevor Thompson who also addressed the ceremony said the Mardigras pipeline project is one of the main capital projects that are outlined in NAWASA’s five-year strategic plan.
Thompson indicated that on completion of the projects, there should be a reduction in complaints about water quality from consumers who are served by these systems.
He believes the projects are expected to impact positively on revenue, and would reduce the company’s operating costs that are associated with frequent repairs and maintenance.
“This project is a sign of NAWASA’s commitment to meet its public and social responsibility,” he said.
The Board Member also added his voice to the reckless behaviour of some people at the dams.
Thompson said the quality of water is not only dependent on NAWASA’s treatment plants and new pipelines but also more dependent on what people in the community do and those who use the watersheds on a daily basis.
“Each of us has a stake in our water resources, and each of us has a responsibility to ensure it is managed properly,” he added.