GIBRALTAR’S government has invested nearly five times as much repairing the sewage system as the GSD before them, its Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said Monday.
The GSLP/Liberal government is now receiving bids for a new wastewater plant with hopes to start building it next year. It is also repairing and replacing main sewer piping especially inside the city walls.
The government said the original sewage plant, promised in the 2011 manifesto, failed to be built because the company that won the bid went into liquidation.
But it said it was ‘confident’ that ‘significant progress’ will be made in the next year.
Gibraltar’s Technical Services Department (TSD) have cleaned out storm drains and gullies, added drainage points to stop flooding.
TSD have flushed out and de-silted some of the oldest foul water pipelines, helping to stop clogging and overflow onto the street.
It has worked with private developers and designers to bring together the foul water needs of an expanded area rather than only focusing on a single building.
Along with Wastage Products Limited (WPL), the government has laid down over 150 metres of 3cm thick epoxy resin around old pipes along Line Wall Road.
This process has limited costs to the taxpayer to just £600,000, rather than opening the whole road and starting from scratch which would be far more expensive and disruptive to traffic.
WPL finished this process in just six weeks while closing down the main inner city traffic artery for only two weekends, the government said.
Main sewer work
It is part of the 550m of the main sewer reinforced in the last decade to take into account population increases.
“Without efficient and effective sewage infrastructure and those that manage, repair, maintain, de-silt these, it would be impossible to have a healthy and prosperous society,” Minister for Technical Services Paul Balban said.
“We must also take more care, and be conscious when throwing waste down our toilets which will inevitably cause problems in our sewage network and is extremely bad for our environment.”
Chief Minister Fabian Picardo added that his government was creating a ‘sustainable and durable’ sewage system ‘not just for 2022 but 2030 and onwards’.
He compared the investment for the Rock’s expanding population to the measly amount spent by the Opposition when in government.
“Whilst the GSD only spent about £200,000 per annum on average in the 16 years they were in office, we have spent just under a million a year (an average of £932,000) in the last ten years on vital maintenance and investment in this sewer infrastructure,” Picardo said.
“This demonstrates that we spend on the right things and in particular on essentials which were neglected by our opponents.”