By Loshaun Dixon
Sewage from the new Basseterre High School (BHS) is not expected to affect water wells in the area, according to the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report recently made public.
The report said that while there would be sewage produced by the new school, this would be mitigated by capturing all waste water sewage in a pip system transporting it to a treatment plant located on a plot of land south of the school.
The plant is expected to provide primary, secondary and tertiary treatment to achieve a clear output.
As it relates to the sewage from BHS impacting wells in the aquifer, the report states the the BHS site is located to the south and down gradient of the wells in the aquifer. It added that the nearest well to the site is 1000ft north while other nearby wells are between 1500ft and 3000ft north of the site.
The EIA was made available last week ahead of a town hall on the new BHS to be held on Wednesday. It was prepared by Stantec Consultancy Caribbean. The town hall is to be held at the Tucker Clarke Primary School at 7pm.
One area of concern raised by the report regarding the new school was the handling of chemical waste by the school’s science labs. It said that critical to handling of chemical waste would be the establishment of a “best practice” management system.
The report said that there should be protocols for the handling and processing of chemical waste before it is deemed suitable to pour down a sink drain.
The waste from those sinks will be collected in a separate collection system of PVC pipes and discharged into a multi-cell dilution chamber prior to its being discharged into the surface via an engineer file field located under the main car parking areas.
With regards to the handling of solid waste on the campus, the reports recommends that a building for the storing of solid waste be built on the western boundary of the campus away from areas heavily trafficked by students.
It further states that solid waste receptacles should be placed at strategic locations in the school complex and waste should be cleared daily by maintenance staff.
The building to house the waste should be built with natural ventilation and fitted with a screen to keep out insects and birds and cleared of waste at least once per week.
The report states that environmental risks in the new BHS project should be minimized “to the extent reasonably practicable by sound engineering design”.
The construction of the new school in the vicinity of the Basseterre aquifer has drawn sharp criticism from the opposition Labour Party, who protested at the site of the new school during the launch of the 3D model of the new facility.