WSC General Manager updated on Eleuthera water supply during recent visit to that island

(BIS Photos/Anthon Thompson)

Water supply reliability for several thousand customers for the settlements of Savannah Sound northward to Gregory Town has improved within the past weeks.

Robert Deal, General Manager of Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC), outlined the work in progress at the Naval Base Desalination Plant, north Eleuthera, Friday, February 10, 2023.

“We have installed the half million ModuTank that would assist us with increasing the storage capacity at this facility. Just to the north of that, in very short order, we will start clearing that location and we will be building a one million [gallon] storage tank. We expect those components to arrive sometime in late April and that tank would be fully ready by summer.

Between now and summer we expect to increase the storage capacity at this facility by an additional 1.5 million gallons,” said Mr. Deal.

“In addition to that, we are also working closely with the desalination contractor to expand the production capacity at this facility. Two desalination units arrived in Nassau last week. They are presently being cleared by customs and we expect that to be completed within the next day or two. Once that is done we expect them to be shipped to Eleuthera and they will be connected and commissioned. We expect them to be commissioned by late April and that will increase the production capacity at this facility in the range of 260,000 gallons per day.

“Presently we produce about 450,000 gallons per day and once that expansion is in place this facility will be increased to 710,000 gallons per day to which will greatly improve the reliability of our supplies for our residents in central Eleuthera.”

Mr. Deal was among a delegation of WSC representatives who made a stopover visit to the island to inspect ongoing works. The delegation comprised Bachus Rolle, Parliamentary Secretary; Luther Smith, Permanent Secretary; board members, Anthony Bostwick and Loretta Butler-Turner, board consultants; senior management and staff of the WSC. Hon. Sylvanus Petty, Executive Chairman, WSC and MP for North Eleuthera was also in attendance. 

Mr. Deal emphasized that much more is required to improve the storage capacity at the Naval Base so that in the event the desalination plant has challenges water will be stored on site to supply customers while production issues are rectified.

He explained that the old tanks which date to the 1960s have been refurbished several times are beyond repairable.

“It’s time to decommission those, improve the infrastructure here and that’s what we are doing,” he said.

Chairman Petty said, “We call this the relief package. The last time the media was here we were in crisis mode. It’s been like almost three months without any issues. The board and executive team have worked hard. We didn’t kick the can down the road; we said we have to get it done and it’s done.”

The delegation also visited the desalination plant in Bogue, North Eleuthera, to inspect the progress of work on the new ModuTank there.

Delroy Hector, Commercial Director, Veolia Water and Technology Solutions, Caribbean, said, the aim of the partnership is to make the days of no water for the residents of Eleuthera a thing of the past.

He said, “That’s driven by improved storage that the corporation has. We’ve been running the plants as effectively as we can. We are challenged sometimes with power so working alongside  BPL as well as the corporation, we are looking at alternative power options and power solutions. We can only pump water once we have the power to do it.
“We’ve now put in two generators we’re adding a second well so you will see more improvements and on top of that increased storage both by the corporation and ourselves.”

From a production standpoint, Mr. Hector said “we’re about 80-90 percent there.

“We’re challenged both by power as well as storage. The corporation has done major work in covering and storage so we’re working with them.

“We are actually meeting the WSC needs. We are actually at the stage of increasing capacity. As the people of Eleuthrea and business grows we need more to go from there. Within the WSC distribution network we provide all the water for the island of Eleuthera. We have four plants on this island and our main goal is to continue to grow and expand as the corporation expands and grows with its demands for its consumers,” said Mr. Hector.

By KATHRYN CAMPBELL/Bahamas Information Services

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