Uruguayan state-owned water utility OSE is implementing measures to increase domestic sewerage connections in the country, local paper El País reported.
Household connections have increased 15% since 2005, but an estimated 160,000 people are still not connected to the utility’s sanitation network, OSE general secretary Daoiz Uriarte said.
To help these people connect to the system, OSE is waiving the connection fee for households outside capital Montevideo.
The utility is also offering loans of up to US$800 to cover the cost of implementing sanitation infrastructure to be able to connect to the public network.
The loans can be paid back in up to 36 monthly payments to be charged in the clients’ water bill.
Meanwhile, OSE has drawn up a bill to make connection to the public network obligatory. People in a position to connect to the system will have a deadline of two years to connect to the main network, after which they can be fined.
The bill is currently being analyzed in congress.
The initiative is part of the country’s environmental cleanup plan which aims to protect the sustainability of Uruguay’s natural resources. Some resources continue to be contaminated by untreated wastewater released from homes that could perfectly well connect to OSE’s network, the paper said.
Source: BNamericas.com [subscription site] , 08 Feb 2010