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Water tank demolished in Pointe Blanche, St. Maarten

Minister Cornelius De Weever with the Management of Gebe and contractors in front of the old water tank in Point Blanche.

St. Maarten –Minister Cornelius De Weever and the management of Gebe made a site visit to the location in Pointe Blanche last week where two new water tanks will be built. Currently the old tanks are being demolished to make way for the new ones.

The demolition of the last old tank will be completed early February after which excavation works will start followed by the construction of the foundation and the concrete tank floor which according to the planning will be completed end of May. The assembling works of the tanks will start early June. Leeward Island Construction Company will carry out the civil works for the contract for the amount of 330,000 guilders. The first tank has been shipped in parts to St. Maarten, where it will arrive on February 1.

Minister of Public Health, Cornelius De Weever stated that he is very happy with the progress being made as they are collaboratively ensuring that drinking water will be available mainly to the residents of the Point Blanche area, and the eastern area of St. Maarten. There will be no more risk of water shortage with the construction of these two new tanks.

In August of last year, a three-way agreement was signed between the government, Gebe and Air-Fin/Seven Seas Water, providing detailed arrangements of the supply, installation, commissioning, operation and ownership of the water tanks.

Each tank has a capacity of 3000 m3. The tanks are constructed of double sided “glass-fused” steel. The fused glass enables a protecting layer with no oxidation of the inner surface and as result safe storage of drinking water with no discoloration, as well as a low maintenance outside tank surface, reducing therefore the cost of operations and maintenance.

The tanks will be built to withstand high winds experienced in hurricanes as well as for seismic tremors in earthquake prone areas. The tanks are manufactured by tank specialist Florida Aqua Store.

In complying with the agreement the government issued in long lease the parcel of land for the water tanks in Pointe Blanche, while Seven Seas Water will supply the tanks with Gebe building the foundation and supervising the entire project. The pre-structural design was done by Independent Consulting Engineers and the structural supervision will be in hands of Florida Aqua Store. Once completed, the tanks will be owned by government and operated and maintained by Gebe.

Government, Gebe and Seven Seas Water are pleased that the project is now moving forward because the tanks will improve the water storage and distribution system for the people of St. Maarten.  The installation of additional water storage will also take some pressure off of the reverse osmosis plants, which until a new plant is built, will be operating practically nonstop.

Once in operation the tanks will add to the present storage capacity and will service the area of Pointe Blanche, the Harbor, Philipsburg and surrounding areas. The location of the two tanks is also in considering the Pointe Blanche Harbor area as the location for a new water production plant. The project for the expansion of the drinking water production capacity in Point Blanche, on the cargo premises, with two new reverse osmosis units has also started. Air Fin is searching the area for the best location for the feed water wells for the plant.