Sunday, April 14, 2024

BWA ensuring sewage problems don’t recur

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THE BARBADOS WATER Authority (BWA) is doing everything to ensure there is no recurrence of  the hazardous sewage problem which plagued the island’s South Coast last year.

That assurance has come from head of the Water Waste Division at the BWA Patricia Inniss, who said while the situation was under control, heavy and persistent rains could cause problems.

“I would say that we have done all that is humanly possible to avert the possibility of another incident as December 2016. That being said, of course, if we have unusual amounts of rain that are uncontrollable, there is only that much human-beings can do,” Inniss contended.

“If we have a case where there is not sufficient drainage within the Graeme Hall sluice gate, where there is an excessive amount of water, which has been the problem, and then we literally watch a rising of the levels over hours, that rising would eventually get into the distribution networks, even though we have cleared all passages so we have no blockages.

“We are looking at dealing with infiltration problems in the sewerage network; that is sending down CCTV operators to look at major areas where there are cracks and try to block them. This is where we are at now,” she said.

She made the comments during a press conference at the BWA’s Pine’s headquarters yesterday to announce details of  the start of a survey in the sewered districts of the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant  and the South Coast Sewage Treatment Plant.

Inniss said they would be giving an update on the situation in the “not too distant future”.

She, however, admitted that the island’s sewerage system needed a definite expansion and upgrade.

Inniss said this was necessary with more hotels and bigger properties being built around Barbados.

“After we get over the calamities of 2016, after we become more assured we can hold our own, after we were concerned with Graeme Hall and dealing with those realities and doing as much as we can, then the question is about the expansion.

“Not only because of a crisis, but the expansion needs to happen as we are bringing on bigger hotels and we are expanding our networks. We need to be able to treat to those,” Inniss added.

She said the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant was badly in need of an upgrade as it currently only served as a secondary treatment, rather than a tertiary treatment.

As the BWA embarks on its second public outreach programme; a Sewer Survey Programme, Inniss said the organisation would be moving to interact and educate the public more.

She said this was needed so that Barbadians were assured and comfortable with what was being done, as well as being made aware of the programmes being implemented by the BWA. (RB)

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