Monday 21 September, 2020

Inniss: Condoms, rags, grease still clogging sewage network

(File Photo)

(File Photo)

Condoms, bedsheets, needles and rags. These are but some of the materials the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has been removing from the South Coast sewage network in the last few days. 

With the sewage overflows worsening over the last few days, especially in the Rockley and Rendevzous, BWA officials have said they are perplexed and frustrated with the dumping practices of those on the South Coast which continues to exasperate an already "horrible situation".  

Head of Wastewater Division at the BWA, Patricia Inniss, told reporters today debris is still being extracted regularly from the network with pumps being cleaned up to three times daily.  

"Our concern is that even with the present situation, the amounts of debris coming into the plants, according to our operators, has unfortunately not reduced. We are now cleaning the River Road pumping station at a minimum 3 times a day to ensure it still functions." 

Inniss also said, considering the overload of connections on the network on the South Coast, the BWA has removed some connections temporarily and they are in constant communication with up to 70 businesses who are immediately affected by overflows on the main road and on the properties.  

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Inniss revealed some of the properties who are adversely affected by sewage overflows have "bad connections" such as storm drainage being linked to sewage lines. In addition to rags, she also said the inflow of fats, oils and grease is causing serious damage to the sewage network.  

"The quantity of rags that are caught in the pumps has not reduced. The quantity of fats, oils and grease in the Bridgetown line is still extremely high. The fats, oil and grease are destroying the network.  

It enters the network and becomes a cement block and human beings have to go down there and literally chip away with a chisel to get these blocks out. The last three reports of blocks of people complaining, were the blocks of the fats, oils and grease that we cannot maintain." 

She said she envisions there will be a new approach to dealing with wastewater when the South Coast sewage issues are finally resolved. She said the BWA and other stakeholders will have to embark on public education campaigns, especially for food establishments, to discuss how to deal with the disposal of waste.  

"A lot of people in Barbados have no understanding of what a grease trap is or it is meant to do." 

She also suggested government implement certain legislative measures to enforce consequences for illegal behaviours of waste disposal.  



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