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WSC update on conch poisoning and work in progress at Malcolm Park

The Water and Sewerage Corporation. FILE

The Water and Sewerage Corporation (WSC) wishes to provide the following update to our customers and the general public regarding reports and assertions that our Malcolm Park improvement works is related to the recent conch poisoning cases in New Providence.

The corporation has been deliberate in its efforts to ensure the availability of clean, potable water at Arawak Cay, Potter’s Cay Dock and Montague Ramp. Several years ago the corporation installed the necessary infrastructure to ensure that potable water is readily available at these locations.

Additionally, the corporation has been systematic in its works at the Malcom Park location, where, before any construction works began, preliminary works were undertaken to ensure no contamination, nor cross contamination, exist at or around the area, as was evident by the activities over the last few months:

November 2017

  • Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) reviewed and approved the project to rehabilitate the waste water treatment plant at Malcolm Park.
  • WSC’s contract with Island Site Development (ISD) Company Ltd. required the following:
  1. Chlorinate all standing water;
  2. Prevent all debris, material or waste from entering the sea.

These requirements were met and have resulted no breaches in this protocol being observed by the relevant authorities, to date.

March 2018:

  • Construction began;
  • The well was drilled to a depth of 600 feet below mean sea level, and cased in concrete up to 400 feet.

July 2018

  • DEHS collected marine samples at the dockside (Potter’s Cay and Arawak Cay) during the initial outbreak, and both sites tested positive for the virus.
  • A meeting between the WSC and DEHS to discuss conch poisoning was held, and an update was provided on progress at our Malcolm Park wastewater treatment plant site.
  • DEHS committed to securing marine samples to check for the presence of any viruses in the area from Montagu to Arawak Cay.
  • WSC checked the water consumption history of vendors at Potter’s Cay Dock and identified seventeen vendors, who were either not using city water, or had minimal water usage.
  • WSC strongly recommended to the Ministry of Health that it carries out its responsibility and visits each of the vendors and inspect their operations.
  • WSC reviewed and reinforced the project requirements with the contractor engaged on the Malcolm Park site.
  • In addition to Potter’s Cay, DEHS advised WSC that there have been cases of conch poisoning at Arawak Cay, and as far away as Lyford Cay.

Most recently (August 2018)

  • DEHS has confirmed to the corporation that it intends to undertake resampling to check for the presence of any viruses in the area from Montagu to Arawak Cay. We await the results of this resampling.

All matters pertaining to the marine environment are being addressed through the Ministry of Health and the DEHS as is their responsibility.

We invite those seeking additional information and/or clarification on the ongoing works at our Malcolm Park wastewater treatment plant, to please contact the Water and Sewerage Corporation, and the office of the executive chairman or the general manager.

 

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