Belize Water Services currently operates and maintains sewerage systems in three municipalities namely Belmopan, Belize City and San Pedro Town. None of the municipalities served by these sewerage systems enjoy 100% coverage. The systems came into operation in 1970, 1980 and 1996 respectively.
The existing sewerage system in each municipality consists of conventional gravity sewers in zones (Belmopan – 2, Belize – 15 and San Pedro – 6), complete with concrete manholes and submersible fiberglass reinforced plastic pumping stations. In each zone, sewage is collected by gravity at each a pumping station and pumped to a neighboring zone towards the treatment works. Pump operations in each station are automatic and controlled by float switches. In Belmopan the sewage stations are wet-dry well type and made of concrete.
Sewage treatment and disposal of effluent varies for each of the municipality and are briefly set out below.
Treatment is provided by a two-cell facultative lagoon system and the treated effluent is discharged into the Caribbean Sea via canals cut through a mangrove wetland. The lagoon cells operate in series and are designed to provide 10 days hydraulic retention time in each. The system presently serves some 37,500 consumers and treats about 1,500,000 gallons of sewage per day. On the left is an aerial view of the treatment facility.
San Pedro Town
Two facultative lagoons operating in series followed by one maturation pond with impermeable layers at their bottoms are used to treat the collected sewage in San Pedro Town. The treated effluent from the maturation pond is discharged to the surrounding mangrove wetland, via a dispersion pipe, for polishing before final disposal into the natural lagoon environ (the Caribbean Sea). The cells are each designed to provide a hydraulic retention time of 10 days. The sewerage system currently serves approximately 3,400 consumers and treats about 160,000 gallons of sewage per day.
A primary treatment plant made up of a settling tank and four sludge drying beds together with 1½ miles of 18″ diameter disposal pipe makes up the facility for treatment of sewage in Belmopan. The treated effluent (clarified waste water) empties into the Belize River via the disposal pipe and the sludge is deposited onto the drying beds and later made available for agricultural uses.
Approximately 7,900 consumers are served by the sewerage system. It is estimated that the flow to sewage treatment plant is 200,000 gallons per day.