Having recognized the importance and sensitivity of the Placencia Peninsula, the Government of Belize (GOB) agreed to a project to implement a wastewater (sewerage) system for the area. Due to the rapid development and population growth being experienced on the Peninsula, the potential for ground water contamination and pollution of the waters of the lagoon and the Caribbean Sea were predicted to intensify. The Government therefore commissioned two consultancies, a feasibility study and a detailed design, for implementing the Placencia Peninsula Pilot Wastewater Management System. The Feasibility Study, funded by the U.S Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), was completed by Halcrow in 2012; and Inter American Development Bank and GIZ funded the detailed designs consultancy.
During the detailed designs it became apparent that background considerations relating to the project’s Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) site and final effluent disposal locations required further studies to definitively and conclusively establish these sites. Consequently the detailed designs for the Placencia Peninsula Pilot Wastewater Management System has been put on hold while the required background data is being gathered and analyzed. To complement the Feasibility Study and detailed designs GOB is seeking funds that will be used to (i) develop a comprehensive model to predict the movement and fate of nutrients and bacteria in and around the Peninsula assuming different point sources; (ii) carry out a baseline study in the area with respect to nutrients, fecal bacteria and chemical parameters; and (iii) determine the assimilative capacity of vegetation with regards to nutrients. This will be performed through a Nutrient Fate and Transport (NFT) Study on the Placencia Peninsula and surrounding areas. This study requires approximately one and one half (11/2) years to properly document the changes, currents and movements brought about by the various seasons. Detailed designs for the Placencia Peninsula Pilot Wastewater Management System and construction of same will resume on completion of the NFT study.