Dockyard’s sewage treatment plant is something the island ‘needs to embrace’. *Photo by Simon Jones
Dockyard’s sewage treatment plant is something the island ‘needs to embrace’. *Photo by Simon Jones

Dockyard’s sewage treatment plant could be an environmental model for the rest of the island, according to WEDCO bosses.

The state-of-the-art facility occupies an area smaller than a football pitch behind Casemates and currently services every building from West Gate to Commissioner’s House.

The treatment system, which turns sewage into ‘clean’ water that can be used for flushing and irrigation, has already proved a big success in the West End.

And there are now plans to expand the water reclamation facility’s coverage to Boaz Island as well as supply Westgate with flushing water through a new pipeline, which will open shortly. The move is predicted to save the prison around $20,000 to $30,000 a year in water supply costs.

Andrew Dias, general manager of WEDCO, told the Bermuda Sun: “We believe this is a model that others should be looking to emulate.

“It makes sense environmentally and it is better than letting sewage drain into the ground or sending it out to sea.

“The new pipeline to Westgate will be up and running shortly and will save a considerable sum.

“The sewage from Westgate has been treated at the facility for some time, but during the recent Victoria Parade development we took advantage of the opportunity to install a new pipeline into the prison to supply it with flushing water.”

The water created by the water treatment plant is only used for flushing and irrigation purposes.

But the testing that is routinely carried out on the end product regularly passes the threshold test for potable or drinking water.

Mr Dias added: “We believe that this kind of system is the future for Bermuda and would be happy to share how it works with any interested parties.

“It means less wastage of potable water and less sewage going into the environment. It’s something we need to embrace as a community.”

Annie Glasspool, vice president of Bermuda Environmental Consulting Ltd, told the Bermuda Sun: “These kind of systems are great for Bermuda from an environmental perspective.

“The only down side is that they do require energy to run them. But they do make an awful lot of sense.

“There are other water treatment plants in Bermuda and some of the hotels have their own facilities to deal with their waste water.

“But these systems are a model of how we could do things in the future rather than just let the waste sewage drain into the ground.

“The fact is that on an island where there is no natural fresh water the supply is always going to be a concern.”

Judith Landsberg, director of Greenrock, added: “Only about two-thirds of the water that Bermuda uses comes from our rain or our wells, which means that about one third comes from reverse osmosis plants.

“We could do much better. Most of the water that goes down our drains is ‘grey water’: it could easily be reused for flushing, watering gardens and other non-potable uses.

“Recycling water in any way makes a significant difference to our use of both water and electricity, as reverse osmosis plants are heavy users of electricity.”