With the ongoing use of Bonaire’s recently installed sewer system for properties near to or adjoining the coastal areas of Kralendijk, the Waste Water Treatment Plant reached a milestone last week when they processed the 1000th batch of wastewater on August 1st, 2016. This equates to more than 276,050 cubic meters of treated wastewater since its launch in early 2015. The treated water is distributed daily for use in irrigation.
A total of 16 farmers (kunukeros in Papiamentu) now receive the water for use on their farms. The quality of the irrigation water meets the standards set by the Public Entity Bonaire, and, even more impressive, the quality is higher than the requirements imposed by the Netherlands for purified wastewater that gets placed as surface water. Bonaire has access to safe and high-quality irrigation water for agriculture and landscaping.
The Public Entity Bonaire and WEB (Water & Electricity Bonaire) are currently preparing for the 10th EDF (European Development Fund) of the sewerage project Kloaka, in which parts of Hato and Belnem will be connected, providing even more treated water that can be used for irrigation.
Every cubic meter of wastewater which is treated is helping keep Bonaire’s reefs as free as possible from nutrification (when excess nutrients from a variety of sources–primarily sewage in Bonaire’s situation–set off a cascade of environmental changes). These changes can cause an over-abundance of algae growth, which competes with corals and other marine creatures for living space on the reef.