Stench returns

Residents still grappling with south coast odour

The perennial stench returned to the south coast tourist belt Friday morning, after an electrical outage at the sewage plant in St Lawrence, Christ Church resulted in a shut down of one of the pumps.

Head of the Waste Water Department at the state-run Barbados Water Authority (BWA) Patricia Inniss confirmed the development, which she said had only served to make matters worse for the authorities who were in the process of effecting repairs at the South Coast Sewage Plant, which has also been negatively impacted by recent heavy rains.

“With therefore the [water] levels quite high, the pump shutting down unexpectedly was the last thing we wanted,” she told Barbados TODAY as members of the waste water unit were Friday pressed into emergency mode.

“You have to appreciate you are dealing with water and high voltage. So we have to be careful, we don’t want anybody hurting themselves,” Inniss said, adding that officials were seeking to avoid any further breakdowns.

However, she gave the assurance that once the system was repaired, residents would be notified.

The malfunctioned trash pump being inspected by Manager of Waste Water Patricia inniss and BWA mechanic Wendell Jordan.

“We have spoken to a majority of the residents, hoteliers, we have spoken to the Massy group, we have spoken to the Lantern group, the Gentle Breeze Apartment, and all of these persons are working with us . . . and they understand the problem,” Inniss said in reference to some of the affected businesses.

She however warned that even when the pump was put back into operation, it would take some time for the extremely high water levels to drop in the canal, which leads from the Graeme Hall Swamp to the sea.

Friday, when the Barbados TODAY team visited the area, there was also evidence of drains, overflowing with offensive-smelling waste water, which some residents suggest contains sewage.

However, Inniss was not willing to go that far in her assessment even though she explained that “at normal low levels . . . we expect [the canal] to be about 20 centimeters . . . [However, when] I checked [Friday afternoon] and it was over 70 centimeters”.

“This is the reality that we are dealing with. We are hoping the Drainage Division would open the canal soon so we could have a more natural drainage from the high water levels in the swamp right now. That would help us as soon as the pump comes back on,” she said.

Inniss also told Barbados TODAY the BWA was in the process of acquiring two emergency pumps, which were being sourced locally and expected to be in hand by this weekend.

“We need to reach the stage where no Barbadian or visitor is concerned that the rain is going to cause a problem. Right now we are not yet there. We are still a little sensitive. In six months, we have been trying to fix problems that have been slowly creeping up on us over the years,” the water quality expert said.

However, residents in the Worthing and St Lawrence areas continue to be put out by the current overflows of waste, with 84-year-old Clement Depeiza expressing disappointment Friday after finding out that the Worthing Post Office was closed when he arrived this afternoon to cash his pension cheque.

“Today is the day to cash it [but] when I get out here now, this close. Not good enough,” Depeiza said.

Community activist and spokesman for residents of the area Adrian Donavan also called for a lasting solution to the south coast sewage problems, which he said have been inconveniencing residents for far too long. 

12 Responses to Stench returns

  1. michael parker August 5, 2017 at 3:20 am

    tourist belt, there won,t be tourists if this continues, I for one will not return until this problem is sorted. a simple remedy when there is a power outage is a standby diesel driven pump,i am sure the cost of a pump will outwiegh the cost to the tourist industry and the local residents and buisnesses affected.

  2. colleta August 5, 2017 at 4:54 am

    lot a long talk and excuses, these people don’t know bout running anything effectively. wait until equipment fail then to rectify problems. Don’t these people in charge know about preventative maintenance.

    • Jimmy Jones August 5, 2017 at 1:52 pm

      I was about to say your last sentence, but first looked up preventive and preventative to make sure I don’t get crucified for not using British spelling.

      If you prevent things from breaking down you don’t get paid overtime.

  3. Roger Headley August 5, 2017 at 8:07 am

    The BWA was well aware of all of these problems but rather than deal with these first they choose to build that monstrosity of a building that they now cannot pay for – struggling to pay for it from day one. Priorities of this group of PMs all wrong. But ‘Tax-he’ to death to try to recoup

    • Roger Headley August 5, 2017 at 8:07 am


  4. James Franks August 5, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Same old Barbados, same old excuses.
    Simply not good enough in 2 017!!

  5. Milli Watt August 5, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    I want the waste on the ground a foot high next time………this is my kinda cess pool

  6. Belfast August 5, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    We continue to buy top of the line Mercedes Benz, build a multi million dollar white elephant on the Garrison, but cannot afford to buy reserve pumps for the sewer stations.
    We brought in consultants and general managers to teach Bajans a thing or two at these government corporations, and look what we end up with. SOS…….Same Old S…….ewerage
    M-A-I-N-T-E-N-A-N-C-E……..A bad word in Barbados Government’s vocabulary.

  7. Belfast August 5, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    The Prime Minister and the Minister of Tourism, seem to think that wine-ing and dining the tourist at Illaro Court, will neutralise their sense of smell.

  8. Helicopter(8P) August 7, 2017 at 9:44 am

    Mr Jordan please have your plant mechanic do a cosmetic inspection of the trash pump with some emery cloth and spray paint to eliminate the oxidation process i’n observing.

  9. Jeanne Hauck December 17, 2017 at 9:52 am

    This was a problem last November when my husband and I were there. We were back 3 times this year, in April, September and November. Twice we came home with hookworms from having to wade through floodwater (sewage) to get to our apartment. We’ll be back on the island in the spring and we’ll be bringing along the necessary medicine in case we get another hookworm. We love Barbados and it’s people or we wouldn’t keep coming back. It’ll be our 24th visit.

  10. Peter Howarth January 21, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    Hi we will be arriving on the Gap 0n the 22nd of Febuary, can you assure us that the seawage problem will be well and truly fixed by then. Peter Howarth 21/01/18


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