New storm water pumps will be ready in February

POSTED: 08/24/11 5:52 PM

Minister Heyliger breaks ground for 4.6 million guilder project

St. Maarten—Acting Prime Minister Theo Heyliger was on site at the pump house in Sucker Garden to do the official honors of the ground breaking ceremonies for the storm water pumps project. The 4.6 million guilders project is expected to be completed in February of next year; three pumps will be installed to prevent flooding in Philipsburg.
Two of the three thirty six inch pumps have the capacity to remove 50,000 gallons of water per minute; the third 24 inch pump has a 24,000 gallon per minute capacity, said advisor to Smaal Waters NV Willem Barendsen. “This means that in 24 hours the pumps could remove 178,560,000 gallons of water to the Rolandus Canal and Great Bay.”
A new intake pump-house will be constructed on Pond Island to house the two largest pumps. They will be powered by 440 and 275 Caterpillar diesel engines. The pump house on the Sucker Garden Road will be renovated and upgraded to house the smaller 24 inch pump. During the construction of the new facility a 48 inch HDPE pipe will be installed to ensure that the maximum capacity water could be pumped out of the Salt Pond, Barendsen said.
Minister Heyliger singled out Barendsen as one of the people he has total confidence in. He mentioned Jalap Lycklama-a-Nijeholt who he said while building another plant on the island worked tirelessly and in some cases about 24 hours per day to ensure that the project is built to specification.
Heyliger said that a number of constraints prevented the project to be executed earlier such as the delayed approval of the 2011 budget. “None-the-less the funding has been approved and the contract was awarded about six weeks ago. I know that the three pumps have been ordered; they are not pumps that one could pick up at the hardware store. They have to be made especially for the project, so it takes several months to be built.”
Reminiscing on the past where Philipsburg was flooded as recent as 1995 Heyliger said in jest that he thought that former Lt. Governor Dennis Richardson was responsible for the hurricanes. However after he left office the hurricanes continued to come to the island.
He mentioned that although he would have preferred to spend the 4.5 million guilders on education or health care, he is compelled to safeguard the capital of St. Maarten.
“I would have preferred to have two pumps at the Sucker Garden area and two in the Pond Island in case of anything happening,” said Heyliger.
He praised the commitment of some employees who in some cases “used their shoe laces to keep the pump running” and singled out the late James Marlin who over thirty years kept St. Maarten safe from flooding. He feels that it is necessary to mention the people who have significantly contributed to our society.
Heyliger said he expects that in the not too distant future pumps will be installed in the Fresh Pond as well. “That is another plan for the Minister of Finance Hiro Shigemoto to finance,” he quipped

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Comments (1)


  1. Valerie Carter says:

    About the 4.5 m. I did not see any increase in Education, nor did I see any in Health department all I have seen in these two department is a decrease in those two areas. And about the pump that was is so much needed as u can see to day the Island had to shut down because of the pumps they have could not control the water, so that is why today the Island had to shutdown for 6 hrs. if he did buy that pump then maybe the Island could just flow normal. The School was close for a hole week because of water last time and it’s no diferent now.