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Govt is working on sewage problem

More is being done to upgrade Bermuda's sewage treatment facilities, according to Environment Minister Trevor Moniz.

“Measures are being taken to reduce discharge or prepare for future improvements to Seabright outfall but this will at some point in the future require considerable funding to complete,” he said yesterday.

Responding to recent revelations that contamination from Hamilton's Seabright sewage outfall can reach the waters off nearby south shore beaches, Mr Moniz assured that progress was being made towards treating and reducing the amount of sewage dumped by the outfall.

“[The King Edward VII Memorial Hospital] sewage plant will effectively dilute the 500,000 imperial gallons per day from Hamilton with 100,000 imperial gallons per day (IGPD) of highly treated waste water if added to the outfall, or will reduce the volume received at the outfall by 17 percent.”

Asked what is being done to treat the other sewage outfalls across the Island, Mr Moniz said the Bermuda Land Development Company's sewage outfall, located off Clearwater Beach in St David's, will also be receiving an upgrade.

“The BLDC outfall, located about one kilometre off Clearwater, is currently discharging effluent treated to a primary level (i.e. septic tank) but is in the process of being upgraded to a Zenon tertiary plant. This is due to complete later this year,” said Mr Moniz.

The primary reason for the lack of a treatment plant in Hamilton is cost, said the Minister.

“There is only preliminary sewage treatment at Hamilton and the reasons for that are numerous — but largely down to expense. The situation has, however, greatly improved since the 1970s and 80s when there were many other outfalls in Bermuda that have now all been eliminated or incorporated.”

“Those would have been Elbow Beach, Sonesta Beach, Dockyard, Tynes Bay, the bases et cetera, and many smaller individual properties that now treat in-house and don't pump out to sea.

“Operational procedures applied by the Environmental Authority to Operating Licences currently limits newly proposed waste water treatment plants from connecting to outfalls. Dockyard is a fully functional plant that treats very effectively and delivers treated effluent to a bore hole. It will soon be incorporating Boaz island sewage.”

(Photo by Glenn Tucker) Pollution concern: The Seabright sewage outfall stretches out into the waters along the Paget shoreline.

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Published March 20, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 20, 2014 at 12:45 am)

Govt is working on sewage problem

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