By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
WATER Mission has completed the installation of a dual reverse osmosis system at the Rand Memorial Hospital to ensure there is always access to a safe water supply, especially following a disaster.
Jake Voss, project engineer with Water Mission, said the system can desalinate water accessed by wells or the main city water source from the utility company.
“We were all here post Dorian during the initial response, and we saw a great need for safe water at the Rand, one of the largest hospital facilities in the Bahamas,” he said.
Mr Voss said that Water Mission—a nonprofit, Christian engineering organisation based in North Charleston, South Carolina—was the engineering side of the project and focused on implementation of the system, which consists of two reverse osmosis units that can run off multiple water sources.
He added that there is also post-treatment for the use of an existing water storage tank for completely safe potable water into the hospital so that there is access to drinkable, safe water anywhere in the facility.
Mr Voss said the system is designed for standard daily use and is also capable of producing upward of 150,000 gallons of water per day.
Additionally, it was designed with future resiliency in mind, he stated.
“It can be elevated above the flood level of three feet. It is also designed to treat water and remove the salt of highly salinised water,” explained Mr Voss. “This has dual feeds and can pull off utility company water and pull water from the wells.”
The project started in early 2020 but was delayed due to COVID-19.
Mr Voss said Water Mission, SBP, and the CDC Foundation are partners in the project for the Rand Hospital. It is their largest project by far. They have also installed a reverse osmosis unit at the Eight Mile Rock Clinic, and systems at three small clinics in Abaco through other partnerships.
“Water Mission has been here with lots of different partnerships, and we also have a large solarisation project in the well fields and pumping station and all distribution in Marsh Harbour,” he said.
Hospital administrator Sharon Williams said that access to safe water is especially important to the hospital.
“That fact that we now have a water reservoir on our compound with purified water available… for the hospital is a great improvement in our ability to function effectively with this system. We thank WM and SBP for their contribution to the stability of our system on a regular basis and for disaster preparation,” she said.
Pastor Eddie Victor, of the National Pastor’s Alliance, said Water Mission is a phenomenal NGO. He made a presentation to the organisation on behalf of pastors throughout the island.
He said that Water Mission has helped the Bahamas tremendously.
“They have provided safe and clean drinking water across this island, setting up a RO unit in Grand Bahama, Abaco, and now a system at Rand. And they are also setting up a solar system for water supply in Abaco and have provided RO to all government schools in the critical period during the aftermath of Dorian,” he said.