Over 17,000 people across seven communities in east Trinidad are in line to benefit from the recently completed Trincity Waste Water Treatment Plant.
At a recommissioning ceremony on Tuesday, Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales said that the plant, located off the Churchill Roosevelt Highway, included new treatment systems consisting of screening, grit removal, biological treatment and secondary clarification among other purification measures.
Gonzales said the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) will be expected to augment its distribution supply by tapping into the treated wastewater the plant produces.
“It has to be further treated but not much again because you would have seen the high quality, so there is one more process to utilise to bring the water up to world health standards and the possibility exists for it to be used in the domestic grid,” Gonzales said.
Before the idea is flushed away entirely, it was one the Public Utilities Minister said could possibly be a boost to the finances of the weakened state company.
“It is a matter of educating the population because the whole idea of consuming treated wastewater is something you have to incrementally put into the community,” he said.
Gonzales noted that water re-use will be an essential activity.
“We can now use this water to give support to our farmers in the community because the farmers can now have access to it once the proper things are done. They can now have access to water to irrigate their crops throughout the entire year, we can now use the water to support our industries, we can also use it to recharge our aquifers so it’s a very impressive programme.”
The expanded capacity of the new plant will allow for 2,385 new wastewater customers to be regularised.
It was also reported that COVID-19 had hindered works on the treatment plant, which took two years to complete at a cost of $60 million as a result.
The funds for the project were obtained through a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank seven years ago. However, it was almost jeopardised after the People’s Partnership government allegedly breached the terms and conditions of the loan.
According to Housing and Urban and Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis, swift action was needed to secure the loan.
“When we came into office, we restructured the loan so that we can utilise the money or else the money would have been sent back,” Robinson-Regis said.