A new hospital sewage treatment facility will help reduce the amount of pollution entering the sea off Bermuda.

The news comes in a week when the island’s beaches came under scrutiny in a report highlighting the hazards of the continued dumping of raw sewage off south shore.

The 2013 study prompted the US Consul to warn citizens of Bermuda’s ‘contaminated beaches’, suggesting swimmers might consider vaccinations for typhoid and Hepatitis A.

Government has insisted throughout that the island’s beaches are perfectly safe, but experts say the new hospital facility will result in cleaner effluent being pumped into the sea.

Marc deVertueil, Chief Engineer for BCM McAlpine, told the Sun the facility was ‘definitely part of the solution’ to the south shore problem.

He added: “The treated sewage from King Edward VII Memorial Hospital can be pumped into the main that runs to the south shore.

“But the waste from KEMH will be highly-treated tertiary stage waste which has had all of the inorganic matter and sludge removed and the remainder biologically treated and micro-screened.

“KEMH have also installed new grease removal systems upstream of the new sewage treatment plant so grease cannot enter the new plant and therefore also cannot reach the sea.”

The new plant will treat sewage from the new Acute Care Wing, which opens in September, as well as the existing hospital and Continuing Care Unit. Dr. Geoff Smith, Environmental Engineer for the Department of Environmental Protection said:  “This improvement to the treatment of 100,000 imperial gallons per day of wastewater from KEMH is expected to provide at least a 17 percent improvement to the quality of the wastewater discharged to the Seabright outfall off south shore.”

The new hospital facility is located under the south parking lot of the new Acute Care Wing.

A BHB spokesperson added: “KEMH, like the businesses of Hamilton, has been a client of the Corporation of Hamilton. Our sewage was macerated and pumped into the Corporation main that pumps out to Seabright. The new sewage treatment plant, however, contains state-of-the-art equipment which will allow us to significantly improve our effluent.

“As of March 31, the plant has been running pre-primary treatment of all wastewater from KEMH, and the Continuing Care Unit.”