RWZI needs an urgent solution

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Since 2018, the issue of the RWZI (Sewage Treatment Plant) has been escalated to an urgent level.

The community needs to be aware that this issue requires substantial financial input and community support to maintain the RWZI operational. The current condition of the RWZI in Bubali is endangering our only economic pillar, our tourism. “We need to stand still and realize that this problem is affecting the entire community of Aruba. It is time to get serious about this problem before it is too late,” Minister Ursell Arends said. During a press conference, Mr. Frank Benita, Head of Water Boards Management at the DOW, also talked about the seriousness of this subject. Aruba has three (3) treatment plants for sewage, well water, and rainwater. The facility at Bubali is the oldest but also treats the most water volume. This facility receives 8000 cubic meters of water daily, even though the facility was built to process 45000 cubic meters. According to Mr. Benita the RWZI in Parkietenbos has also surpassed its capacity. “The current condition of the plants forms a potential danger for our health and environment,” Minister Arends said.  “We upgraded from 1 facility to 3 facilities but never made sure to have the necessary resources to keep these plants operational”. During the Covid shutdown, we realized that 65% of the wastewater received at the Bubali facility was produced by tourism. During the shutdown, the amount of water received at Bubali was 3000 cubic meters less, which also resulted in the water being sent to the Bubali Plas being much clearer. Since the restart of tourism after the shutdown, the condition at the Bubali Plas has been deteriorating again. The bacteria do not have enough time to break down the waste in the water. The reason for the presentation was to illustrate the issue of the RWZI. According to the Minister, the current horizontal work structure within the Government makes inter-ministerial collaboration more efficient. A business plan will be completed soon and will use the technical expertise of the DOW as guidance to make a financial plan for this project. It will give a sustainable and durable solution. “From wastewater to sustainable resource,” the Minister remarked.