Wednesday, November 25 – Virgin Gorda residents will soon have a newly built reservoir at Minton Hill, which will serve the Valley, Little Dix, Mahoe Bay and other surrounding areas.

Minister for Communications and Works, Hon. Julian Fraser RA, in responding to a question posed by Opposition Leader Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith in the House of Assembly yesterday said “It is our goal to have the new Minton Hill Reservoir fully operational by mid April 2010.”

According to the minister, in 2005 the fibre glass reservoir at Minton Hill developed discernable leaks. On two occasions repairs were undertaken on the fibre glass structure; however, unsustainable leakage later developed which resulted in 50,000 imperial gallons of water being lost daily.

The minister said a site visit in August 2007 or thereafter by the Water and Sewerage Department, along with the district representative prompted the decision to replace the 15-year old reservoir.

“In January a $289,500 contract was awarded to Water Engineering and Pipeline Company Limited (WEPCO), of St. Lucia, to replace the 225,000 imperial gallon reservoir with a new steel glass-fuse reservoir,” Minister Fraser said. It has a capacity of 450,000 imperial gallons.

The contract awarded to WEPCO also included soil investigations as well as testing of the existing concrete slab by a geo-technical engineering firm to determine if the new tank could be installed on the existing slab.

“Soil investigation reports were received in August and it was revealed that a new concrete slab was needed, which was not a part of the original contract, awarded to WEPCO,” Honourable Fraser stated.  An additional contract for $84,400.91 was awarded to WEPCO on November 11 for construction of the new slab.

“The construction of the new slab is scheduled to start around the end of this week and shall be completed before the holidays.  The works on the installation of the tank will begin in early January 2010 and is expected to be completed, tested and fully operational by mid April 2010,” the minister announced.

The Ministry of Communications and Works is committed to ensuring the continued development and maintenance of public infrastructure in support of an enhanced community life for every resident and visitor to the Virgin Islands.