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No risk over hospital sewage issues

Problems being rectified: the sewage plant at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital is dealing with some operating issues

Problems with the sewage plant at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital have not resulted in any risk to public health, the Government said.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources confirmed there were “issues” with the plant and these were being rectified.

She said: “The Department can confirm that there has not been a risk to the public and the quality is being closely monitored.”

A spokeswoman for the Bermuda Hospitals Board, which runs KEMH, said sewage from the hospital was treated at the on-site sewage treatment plant before going into the main Corporation of Hamilton sewage line.

“The plant is managed and maintained by Paget Health Services through its facilities management service provider, Black & Macdonald,” she said.

“There have been some operating issues that Paget Health Services and Black & Macdonald have been working through, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and BHB.

“KEMH sewage treatment is being very closely monitored and the plant remains operational while the issues are being resolved.”

The Department of Environment said it, along with the Environmental Authority, licensed KEMH’s wastewater treatment plant under the Clean Air Act 1991. The spokeswoman said the department and the authority had been working closely with BHB, Paget Health Services, Black & MacDonald, BCM McAlpine, which built the new acute care wing, and the original equipment manufacturer to “ensure that the effluent quality meets the licence requirements by setting a manageable timeline to rectify the issues”.

She continued: “The stated issues relate to the organic content of the waste water being more variable than expected, which presented challenges to the plant.

“There was also an issue with the levels of fats, oils and grease. Improvements were made to the equipment and processes and further improvements are currently underway.

“We anticipate these issues will be fully resolved in the coming months.”