PORT ANTONIO, Portland — The existing sewage and drainage systems in the parish are soon to be overhauled.
Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change Robert Pickersgill stayed away from announcing a start date for the project, but at the contract signing at the Errol Flynn Marina on Friday, he said the project was long in coming.
Work under the contract — valued at $1.65 billion — will be done in three phases and will include a new sewage plant.
“The contract we are signing here this afternoon, which is valued at $1.65 billion, is a part of our package of infrastructure development. Based on the project profile for Port Antonio, it is my understanding that the majority of the existing 160-kilometre distribution network in Port Antonio dates back more than 40 years when the original water supply system was installed. As a result the infrastructure is aging and there are numerous leaks.
“As such, in their current state, the water production and sewage treatment facilities are inadequate to meet the needs of the town. Major flooding incidents have occurred in the town due to the inadequacy of the drainage infrastructure. It is therefore impatient of debate that this project is well needed,” the minister said.
Implementation will take place in three phases, the first of which will see the replacement of approximately 10 kilometres of distribution pipes and 300 house connections. It will also include the construction of five kilometres of sewerage pipes and the upgrading and expansion of the drainage system, including new storm viewers, drains and culverts.
In phase two, the old main between Port Antonio and Williamsfield will be replaced with five kilometres of 300-milimetre pipes. The water intake treatment plant and pumping station at Grant’s Level will also be rehabilitated.
There will also be 1,600 new household connections, as well as the construction of a fivekilometre trunk sewer of 200 milimetres between Port Antonio, the sewage treatment plant and three pumping stations.
A new sewage treatment plant will also be constructed at Turtle Crawl which will serve a population of 7,610.
“Our contractor on the project, Vinci, has had a long and productive association with the Government of Jamaica and the National Water Commission. We know of their track record and the quality of their work and we have no doubt that Vinci will deliver the Port Antonio water, sewage and drainage project on time and within budget,” said Pickersgill.
The minister also expressed gratitude to the Bank of Nova Scotia for its involvement in the project.