Watch: Divers confined in chamber for six days to repair sewage pipeline

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Water Services Corporation (WSC) has announced that the operation to replace the broken section of the Gozo sewage outfall was successfully concluded. During this operation, the divers were confined to the chamber for six days and worked for eight hours a day.

Read: WSC invests €500,000 in Gozo Sewage Plant repairs

In a statement, the WSC explained how on Tuesday morning the divers entered the compression chamber and were lowered to a depth of 60-90m to start works on the outfall. During this period the divers were confined to this chamber and worked for eight hours a day, four hours at a time, with one diver working on the outfall and the other on standby in the specialised bell to provide assistance in case of safety issues.

The WSC stated that on Thursday 22nd August, work started on fitting two vessels in the Grand harbour with specialised machinery and testing was concluded by early Monday 26th August. The vessels then set sail for Gozo with the main one being moored offshore from the sewage plant for the entire operation.

The divers first installed a special fitting to the old outfall so that the new pipes could be secured. The last pipe section was attached together with a tailor-made diffuser to greatly improve the performance of the outfall. On Friday the outfall was secured in place and following this, with the divers safely inside the onboard decompression chamber, the ships sailed back to the Grand Harbour.

The divers exited the decompression chamber on 2nd September and are still on standby on the vessel in close proximity to the safety facilities just in case these are required.

This complex operation cost around €500,000 and required the assistance of the Port and Maritime Authority.

Damage to the outfall was caused by years of illegal sewer discharges that literally wreak havoc in the sewage infrastructure. The materials discharged range from tonnes of animal waste to domestic items such as cleaning and baby wipes. To complement these investments the Corporation is working on a holistic strategy that will significantly improve the monitoring of the sewers and the deterrents for those who may still abuse the system.