Monday 24 June, 2019

South Coast 'crisis' bubbling over until everyone puts in a hand

Effluent coming out the sewer at Hastings, Christ Church this afternoon, Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

Effluent coming out the sewer at Hastings, Christ Church this afternoon, Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) cannot afford to be throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars down a well, as they say.

Barbadians and visitors alike are being cautioned to stop adding to the South Coast Sewage problem, because in essence, they are causing the BWA to waste dollars, time, energy and manpower fixing breaches and the same issues over and over without making true progress towards ending the crisis situation on hand.

Noting that the issue is of national concern, a plea is therefore, going out for persons to dispose of their waste properly. In light of blockages due to rags and other debris getting into the sewer lines and damaging pumps, she made an earnest appeal.

Head of the Wastewater Division Patricia Inniss recently urged:

“Every tourist, business person, householder, has to realise you are going to play a part in whether we succeed or we fail and that is across the board…

“We are appealing seriously to all – not only residents, but larger commercial houses, hotels, large guest houses – we are not going to identify anyone specifically at this point because we don’t know exactly who are the main contributors.

“If we are going to deal with this, and it is a national crisis we need all the businesses, all of the residents to come on board.”

To those uncertain of the right channels for disposal, she added, “If it is you are unsure of what you need to do, contact us, let us show you, let us help you, and let us show what you need to do to rebuild your systems.

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“Barbadians now have to realise that a paradigm shift needs to occur. You cannot put anything in the sewer lines, which does not belong. We cannot continue with blocks, breaches in the force main and then extraneous matter in the sewer line.”

The BWA wants persons to understand that there can’t be improvement without the buy-in of all.

Inniss and the General Manager of the BWA, Keithroy Halliday painted a picture saying that a new pump costing some $130 000 stopped working one day after being put into operation by the Trinidadian consultants who flew in to tend to the issue, because of the rags and debris. Now because of the blockage, said consultants must return to try to correct the new problem, which additionally compromised other pumps.

Echoing her call, Halliday asserted:

“This is beyond the simple crisis; this is a serious issue. This is a national issue. We need the cooperation of everyone. We need the support of everyone, we need to push forward as aggressively as we can over the next several weeks to bring some closure to the issues that we have.”

Noting the setbacks due to local use and misuse of the sewer lines, he further lamented, “There are a number of steps that we can take, but we can’t afford to put all of our resources into one or two steps and still have to be fighting with others who are aligned with us or who are not in sync with us, who are disposing of illicit material. We have to repair our effluent line which has burst and which is recycling the water. That is the genesis of the problem that Barbados now faces.”

When Loop News passed the area today, effluent was still guzzling and bubbling coming out of the sewer in the area of Hastings, Christ Church along the South Coast.

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