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Vacuum Truck: To Alleviate Flood Problems in the City

Last year the Belize City Council acquired a Vacuum Truck under the Flood Mitigation Project. Several trainings with regards to how to properly operate the vacuum truck have been carried out and today City Councilor Phillip Willoughby was with some of the trainees on King Street where the capabilities of the truck were put to the test.

Councilor Phillip Willoughby

“As you may know that the entire length of King St. normally floods. We don’t want to say that by cleaning the drain we will be eliminating the flooding conditions of the wider Belize City. What we will be doing is just mitigating against climate change whether its short, medium or larger volumes of rains that come down that normally inundates the street. We’re saying that by cleaning these covered drains and manholes with this vehicle it will facilitate the swift runoff of water that normally inundates the street. So you see that runoff time probably more quickly and in some instances probably there won’t even be any flooding on the street because the drains will be working properly and at full capacity.”


“Ok so talk to us about the capabilities and the power of the trucks? Because I would imagine that these drains are filled with almost everything. Huge rocks, thick muck, and sludge.”

Councilor Phillip Willoughby

“What we found if you look at the earth engine there’s debris, stone, waste, general garbage in there. First of all, let me take this opportunity to say to the residents of Belize City- don’t litter the streets because this is what compounds and creates the problem in the first place clogging the drains to block the free flow of water. So now this truck has the capacity to vacuum anything less than approximately 8in wide so it can suck up anything. It can also pressurize the drains as in flush it out via the nozzle on the front of the truck and as well as a pressure hose or gun that runs up to about 2500 psi up to about 3000 psi, that also of psi. So the truck is extremely powerful in that regard. What we found when we first came out that sludge was built up to the top of the manhole cover. We have been able since we came out here to clear this section of the street and then we saw the water flowing in this direction and going that way. It takes time but if you would have looked at it if we had used human labor, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what we have accomplished here with this vehicle.”