BWSL installing new pipe system to improve San Mateo’s water supply

Friday, July 12th, 2019

Residents in the San Mateo Sub-division, north of San Pedro Town, will soon see an upgrade in their water distribution system after Belize Water Services Limited (BWSL) completes work in the area replacing the old pipe system. A two-inch pipe supports the current system, and due to the growth of San Mateo, it is no longer able to withstand the needed water pressure to efficiently provide non-interrupted water supply to the area. To remedy the current challenges with water supply, BWSL will install a six-inch pipe to improve the flow of the vital liquid and provide a consistent source.
This refurbishment to the water system in this area is part of 35 million dollars the company is investing in Ambergris Caye for the expansion of water and wastewater services. Haydon Brown, Human Resources and Public Relations Officer stated that the project is half-way to completion and that once it is finished, San Mateo will no longer experience shortages in their water supply. “We are looking at having the project completed by early August,” he said. “The residents in that area will have uninterrupted water supply unless there is the need to do any repairs in the area, but other than that, they will benefit from a better service,” Brown added that the new pipe was initially to be installed on Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, but after considering its weight, it will go underground below the lagoon’s floor.
For many years, the San Mateo residents have experienced low to no water pressure at times. One resident shared with The San Pedro Sun that they had to take advantage of every drop of water, when available, and it was a daily challenge to fill buckets to store water. “We never had any water for most of the time at night. Right now, we still have issues with it, but I understand that it is because they are working on changing the pipe system.
I look forward to the new system and kiss goodbye to those water shortages days,” said one resident.
BWSL’s investment on Ambergris Caye is its largest in the history of the company and came about after the acquisition of Consolidated Water Belize Limited in February of this year via a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank. Other investments to take place on the island include a 7 million dollar Reverse Osmosis Plant that is expected to arrive on the island by August of this year. The company will also spend 6 million dollars on a one-million-gallon water tank currently being built south of San Pedro Town to supply more water for downtown and south San Pedro. The building of this tank is aimed at doubling the supply of water for the island. In the past, and particularly in peak tourism season, water shortages have been a major concern throughout the island, affecting the tourism industry. With a second water tank, scheduled to be operating by October 2019, BWSL expects 2019-2020 is expected to run smoothly without any water issues.
The company is also not forgetting northern Ambergris Caye, where development is booming. They are looking forward to building a 60 million dollar water plant in the northern part of the island to guarantee residents in that area, a reliable water supply. This additional investment is expected to be approved within the current fiscal year. However, there has been no word on its approval yet. According to BWSL, they will keep up with the growth pace of the island as they know that more hotels are being built. They say they will simply increase their production.

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