Black Immigrant Daily News
Major infrastructural works will take place in the north of the island in coming months.
Parish Speaks at Daryll Jordan Secondary School on Monday, January 30, kicked off with two pertinent issues – brown water and water outages.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, and St Lucy parliamentary representative Peter Phillips were flanked by officials from the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and the Ministry of Transport, Works and Water Resources to address the infrastructural breakdown in water mains network throughout island’s northern parish.
Responding to resident concerns regarding the “brown water” from the pipes, Alex Ifill, water quality specialist at the (BWA) reported that it was a “two-fold” problem caused by an aged pipe network and silt.
“We have a very aged mains network. It breaks constantly and, therefore, causes disruption in the service and therefore causes brown water,” he explained.
He noted that a significant amount of silt had accumulated at the Allendale Pumping Station over the past few years. Ifill indicated that siltation accelerated at the Allendale Pumping Station due to climate change.
“Siltation is a natural process but usually it takes 30, 40 years for a significant amount of silk to accumulate.
“In the past few years with the constant changing – sometimes you have heavy rainfall when you expect low rainfall -these things have acted to accelerate the siltation at Allendale well,” Ifill disclosed.
The water quality specialist revealed that the station was desilt before 2003, however, recognising that the corrosion was occurring faster, BWA has ordered a filtration system to remove the silt.
“We have noticed that the process of siltation seems to be increasing and what we have done after desilting is, we have already designed and ordered a filtration system to remove the silt that is coming from the Allendale well – this is not a complete solution, this will remove that silt,” he shared.
Ifill emphasised that it will take time to replace the water mains across St Lucy to reduce the impact of the discoloured water which mainly affected the upper section of the parish.
Reiterating the impact of the aged water pipes network, Charles Leslie, director of Engineering at the BWA, added that Half Acre Reservoir and Boscobel Reservoir were built in the 1930s and 1970s respectively.
“You have to lay a lot of pipe to get to the districts around St Lucy so we are looking at over 30 kilometres of mains that we have to replace in this parish,” Leslie said while adding that the phased replacement process has already started.
The first phase of the pipe replacement was from Checker Hall to St Silas.
“We have started replacement in Crab Hill and the intention is replace six kilometres of main in the Crab Hill area itself,” he continued.
“It is a very intensive process and we have to do it in phases coming all around. As we do these replacements you will see improvements in the quality of water and pressure,” the director of engineering assured.