The Water Authority recently announced the completion of yet another major milestone in the North Side Water Supply Project.
Commenced in November 2003, the project consists of installing approximately 22 miles of pipe work in order to bring piped water to the district of North Side. This month saw the completion of the pipeline section between the Civic Centre and Hutland Road.
‘I am very pleased to say that the installation of the pipe work to North Side has been progressing very well,’ said Mrs. Gelia Frederick-van Genderen, director of the Water Authority. ‘Even though we experienced some delays as a result of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, the entire pipeline extension project is a high priority and is on track for completion by August 2008.’
Mr. Brainard Watler, chairman of the Water Authority, outlines the benefits of the project to the North Side district residents.
‘Our valued customers in North Side will be able to enjoy readily available, wholesome and affordable piped water delivered in a reliable manner. The installation of a pumping facility in North Side will ensure that in the event of a pipeline break or a power outage, the impact to our customers is minimal.’
From an economic perspective the benefits are far-reaching.
‘A piped water supply will eliminate the need for costly wells and cisterns thereby encouraging growth and development in the area. The capital cost savings, reduced maintenance costs and reduced space requirements are important incentives for residential and commercial developers,’ said Mrs. Frederick-van Genderen.
‘A reliable infrastructure is essential to ensuring that the Cayman Islands can thrive as a tourism destination as well as a commercial and financial centre,’ said Mr. Arden McLean, Minister of Communications, Works and Infrastructure, who has responsibility for the Water Authority. ‘Bringing piped water to North Side will not only bring significant benefits to that district’s residents, but to the Cayman Islands as a whole.’
The $4.5 million project is a fundamental part of the Water Authority’s mission to provide the islands with water supply and wastewater treatment facilities at a reasonable cost in order to improve the quality of life of residents, promote development in the Cayman Islands, and protect the environment and public health. The North Side project is also in full support of the Government’s Go East strategy to encourage sustainable development in the Eastern districts.’
‘A reliable water supply is absolutely essential to the commercial and residential growth of North Side,’ said Joey Ebanks, Water Authority Board member and chairman of the North Side Go East initiative. ‘A safe, self-sustaining water production and distribution system is the missing piece of the infrastructure in North Side and with it the district will thrive.’
In addition to the water supply extension project, the Water Authority is also constructing a water production, storage and pumping facility to be located off Botanic Road in North Side, a project that was approved by the Central Planning Authority in 2003. The new facility will allow the Water Authority to have water production and storage capabilities closer to potential customers.
When fully completed, the production plant in North Side will be a vital component of the Grand Cayman Water Distribution System, which will ultimately comprise three independent water production facilities across the island (George Town, Lower Valley and North Side).
‘With three independent water production sites, the Water Authority will be able to improve the overall reliability of the entire water distribution system for all of our customers,’ said Mrs. Frederick-van Genderen.
A strategy of multiple production plants ensures that there will be more than adequate production capacity to compensate for down-time at any of the individual plants. In the event of pipeline breaks or upgrades, only a small number of customers situated between two adjacent in-line valves will be affected. In the event of a hurricane it is unlikely that all three production plants would have sustained damage, so water production can be resumed quickly at the undamaged sites.
‘What this means to our valued customers is a state-of-the-art water supply that they can rely on for years to come,’ said Mrs. Frederick-van Genderen.
Like the facilities in George Town and Lower Valley, the facility in North Side will consist of a seawater reverse osmosis plant. In the reverse osmosis process, seawater is desalinated. Although the reverse osmosis process removes contaminants such as bacteria, viruses and pesticides, the product water goes through an additional treatment process to adjust pH and reduce corrosiveness. Chlorine is added to safeguard the water during distribution. After treatment the purified, drinkable water is stored in reservoirs and distributed to customers for consumption.
‘The RO process, although costly to operate, produces very high quality water, in accordance with our promise to our customers. In fact it exceeds World Health Organisation Guidelines for drinking water quality,’ said Dr. Frederick-van Genderen. ‘This initiative is in line with our mission to ensure that the people of the Cayman Islands have access to high-quality potable water.’
The commissioning of the RO plant is expected to take place by mid-2008. To date the first water storage tank has been completed and the construction of the pumping station will be completed by August 2007.
The Water Authority is the statutory body responsible for the management of water and wastewater in the Cayman Islands. The administrative headquarters is at 13G Red Gate Road, George Town, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands.