3354185
The La Fortune Water Treatment Plant in Point Fortin which will be recommissioned today.

The La Fortune Water Treatment Plant in Point Fortin, which went out of commission three years ago, depriving 2,500 residents of a reliable and regular water supply, will be recommissioned on Saturday.

Overgrown with grass and surrounded by sludge, the plant has been refurbished at a cost of $1.5 million by the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA).

Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales, who was instrumental in getting the plant working again, has promised residents in Egypt and New Villages as well as surrounding areas a better pipe-borne supply going forward.

“These areas will have an additional 500,000 to 600,000 gallons of water available to them on a daily basis.”

The plant, Gonzales said, will extract water from a nearby dam.

“Essentially these residents get desalinated water from the Seven Seas Plant. Now, they will not be served by the desal plant again. The dam will be their main water source.”

Gonzales said in the coming months, WASA will draw water from a second dam to further improve the residents’ supply.

In March 2018, Gonzales said equipment in the clarifier of the plant stopped working which negatively impacted its water quality, while the plant and its surroundings began to deteriorate.

Gonzales said having toured the non-functioning plant earlier this year, he took the decision to get it repaired.

“I gave a mandate to bring it back in operation.”

It took WASA three months to repair and spruce up the plant.

WASA had identified 12 areas that needed to be fixed on the plant which was estimated to cost $2.1 million.

However, the authority only spent $1.5 million.

“Yes, we saved $600,000. Not only that… we utilised internal labour with WASA workers who worked long hours in the night and did not claim any overtime. It was a labour of love.These workers must be credited for their hard work and dedication.”

Gonzales said one of the reasons why people have not been getting water is because of the state of WASA’s infrastructure which has been deteriorating all over the country.

“It was as though it was a concerted attempt to destroy WASA’s infrastructure to allow other opportunities to deliver water to the people of T&T. So by simply revitalising some of WASA’s failing assets and infrastructure that will bring not only stability but it will improve the water supply all around the country.”

Gonzales said WASA will target other assets that have been operating below capacity.