The people of St Patrick now have a better flow of pipe-borne water from the state-run National Water and Sewerage Authority (NAWASA).
The authority last week Thursday commissioned the Mt Reuil Water Treatment plant which can produce up to 250, 000 gallons of water per day.
For years, St Patrick was being served by only the Peggy’s Whim system, which is often affected by blockages due to large rocks and sometimes by fallen trees resulting in frequent and lengthy interruption in the supply of water from the plant.
The problems were proving costly to NAWASA as it had to truck water into the affected areas.
The new plant will allow NAWASA to increase the supply of water to Levera all the way up to Mt Craven and other areas, which were badly affected when the Peggy’s Whim system went down in 2012.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, General Manager of NAWASA, Christopher Husbands said the Mt Reuil Water Treatment plant would help to ease some of the pressure on the Peggy’s Whim system.
“Persons (who) live up there (St. Patrick’s) and those of us (who) work in NAWASA won’t forget the unfortunate event of April 2013 when the Peggy’s Whim plant was out of service for about three weeks because the dams were blocked and we had no back up to supply the people of St Patrick – we had to be trucking water from St. Mark’s and way down (from) St Andrew”, he said.
“…This plant provides the opportunity for increased supply, especially to that whole area to Levera stretching all the way back to Mt Craven as we all know is poised for development. We hope in the not too distant future (that) this is an opportunity for us to engage developers as they come and say we have water and you can build, we can supply,” he added.
According to Husbands, the people of St Mark would also benefit from the new plant.
“As this production comes on line …. it allows us to use some of the current supply on the Peggy’s Whim plant to have higher elevation and we can start sending that further west, so you would expect in the not too distant future some of the areas in St Mark will also be receiving (water) and in full supply not directly from this plant but as a result of this plant because we are now able to do more with the current plants that we have, that has more favourable elevation,” he told the gathering.
Chairman of the NAWASA’s Board of Directors, Terrence Forrester said the new water plant project is like the starting block for development to take place in St Patrick.
“…It sends a very serious message and signal to investors, both local and foreign that Grenada is ready for take-off because we can provide all the necessary infrastructural support mechanisms in order to meet the needs of investments,” he said.
Forrester also pointed out that NAWASA and its governing Board will have the important task of supplying “the booming hotel industry” that is soon to come to the south of the country.
The 19-month old New National Party (NNP) government of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has been telling Grenadians that it has attracted investors to build three five-star hotels near to the Grand Anse beach.
According to Forrester, the Board of Directors and Management at NAWASA are constantly monitoring to ensure that they can keep up with the pace of development in the country.
He noted that water delivery, electrification, and basic infrastructure are important ingredients for any investment to take place in Grenada.
“…The first question an investor wants to find out – will I be able to get water to pump concrete and after he is finished doing that will I be able to flush the toilets thereafter,” he said.
Minister for Works and Public Utilities, Gregory Bowen who delivered the feature address at the commissioning was confident that the commissioning of the new water plant will provide a fillip for business investment in St Patrick.
He said this makes St Patrick a little more pleasure for local and foreign investment.
Minister Bowen urged NAWASA not to give up on plans to continue pursuing what he called “high-pressure ground water storage” in those areas of the country that are highly elevated and often suffer from water shortages.
“Highly pressured ground water inspiration has become so pertinent, we know that we have investigated this method of water supply and I want to harass NAWASA not to give up on it even though we have a significant amount of other things to do because we can build infrastructure but if we don’t have water it is useless,” he remarked.
The senior government minister who is an engineer by profession reminded NAWASA that everything must be done to ensure that whenever the tap is open that water is always there.