By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
PUBLIC tendering for a long-awaited water supply improvement project for Long Island will begin this month, the island’s MP yesterday revealing work will begin in the 2018 first quarter.
Adrian Gibson, also the Water & Sewerage Corporation’s (WSC) chairman, told the Long Island Business Outlook that the Corporation is presently executing a Water Supply Improvement Project funded by a $28.33 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with $13.3 million coming from the Government. The scheme two projects in New Providence and on six Family Islands, including Long Island.
“Phase I of the Long Island component included the delivery of two new water tankers, which were delivered earlier this year. Unfortunately, one tanker has sustained some damage and is presently in New Providence undergoing repair,” said Mr Gibson.
“Phase II of the Long Island component includes the installation of 19 miles of new water mains to extend the existing Central Long Island System northward to Thompson Bay, just north of Salt Pond and southward to Lochabar, just south of Clarence Town. This time the capital will get water.
“It is projected that this project will provide a piped potable water supply to 300-plus homes and businesses for the first time. Barring any unforeseen challenges, it is our plan to commence the public tendering for these works by late this month, November 2017, with works commencing on the ground in the first quarter of 2018.”
Mr Gibson said the project also includes the expansion of the existing Deadman’s Cay Desalination Plant, and the supply of additional water storage facilities to ensure the plant can produce sufficient potable water to meet the needs of all residents and businesses - from Thompson Bay to Lochabar - on a daily basis. “As the works are set for public tendering in the coming weeks, I will not publicly announce a budgetary figure for this particular project, but I will say that this will be a multi-million dollar project bringing about a world-class potable water system for that part of Long Island,” said Mr Gibson.
He added that the Corporation is planning to commence a non-revenue water project in the coming weeks to reduce the amount of leakage from its system. “While I am greatly pleased that the Central Long Island System extension works will finally commence by the first quarter of 2018, I am also painfully aware that too many residents in other parts of Long Island have had to endure the lack of piped potable water for much, much too long,” Mr Gibson said.
“I have stressed to the Corporation’s management team that I must have a comprehensive water supply plan for Long Island.”
Mr Gibson said the Corporation’s Board has approved two proposed projects. “The first project involves the installation of 11.2 miles of new water mains to extend the existing Simms Water System northward through the settlements of Deal’s, Bunches & Millerton, and southward through Morris and Wemyss, including all side streets from Millerton to Wemyss with occupied homes and businesses,” he explained.
“These works will increase the number of customers connected to this system from the present approximately 80 to over 255. Plans also call for doubling the capacity of the existing Simms Desalination Plant and a substantial increase in water storage capacity.”
Mr Gibson continued: “The second project involves the installation of 10.5 miles of new water mains to provide a piped potable water supply for the first time for the residents of Burnt Ground, Glinton’s and Seymour’s. “These works will include a new desalination plant, pumping and storage facilities, and will provide a world-class potable water supply to 265 homes and businesses in these three settlements.”