ST ANDREW, Jamaica - Approximately 900 residents in the communities of Padmore and Sterling Castle in St Andrew will benefit from the pipe replacement and upgrading works, which were commissioned by Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Senator Matthew Samuda, on Thursday.
Samuda says the one-inch main line, in Padmore, was upgraded to a four-inch supply pipeline at a cost of $26 million.
“This upgrade was necessary as the one-inch main line at Padmore, which is supplied by the Barnettwood system, was inadequate to serve the growing population in the community. As such, the decision was taken to install some 1.6 kilometres of four-inch supply pipeline,” Samuda noted.
In Sterling Castle, the $9 million pipe upgrading was undertaken to increase revenue collection and lessen losses. It involved the laying of approximately 90 lengths of 4-inch PVC pipeline; the installation of metered connections for non-registered customers and civil repair works as well as valve repairs and/or replacement.
For many years, customers along Sterling Castle Heights Road, which is served from the Forest Hill Deep Well, via the Brentwood Relift Station, received water by means of informal connections. This often resulted in significant wastage of water and losses in revenue collection.
“The expense of leaking water mains and aging pipes was significant and led to significant losses which impacted on the reliability and quality of the water being distributed. The upgrading of the piping infrastructure will result in approximately 100 new supplies being formally connected, whilst also anticipating future housing development in the area”, the minister stated.
Customers who have been regularised, are now served a minimum of three days per week and enjoy supply from formally metered connections. The project will also eliminate the costs of trucking water to the service area, improve storage capacity and enhance operational resilience while mitigating losses.
“The targeted programme of works being undertaken in Sterling Castle, in Padmore, and indeed across the length and breadth of Jamaica, will ensure that the cries for water by residents in formerly unserved or underserved communities are relegated to the past,” Samuda declared.
He further urged the residents to do their part to ensure that the supplies of potable water are sustained.
“I encourage residents, who will be supplied by the replacement pipeline, in both Sterling Castle and Padmore, to manage their water usage effectively. Notify the NWC if you happen to notice any leakages or broken pipes".
He also noted that despite the recent rainfall, the country is not out of the woods in terms of drought conditions. He urged customers to continue to remain vigilant and conserve their use of water.
“If you have rainwater harvesting systems at your homes, use the opportunity to collect rainfall when it presents itself. We must begin to think ‘outside the box’ in terms of our water security and plan accordingly for the future”, the minister stated.