South coast sewage ‘nightmare’ worsens

Authorities are seeking to get to the bottom of a recurring sewage problem along this island’s south coast, with Manager of the Barbados Water Authority’s (BWA) Waste Water Division Patricia Inniss reporting today that major excavation work was planned this week with a view to clearing a 55-inch micro tunnel in Worthing, Christ Church.

“We are going to look at what we think is a major block. We are hoping that a bypass that we create will allow for an alleviation of the high level from the manhole upstream of the block,” Inniss explained.

“Also in doing that . . . we find there is a restriction, then we have to look at how we are going to address that restriction,” she told Barbados TODAY, while apologizing to Barbadians and tourists alike who have had to deal with recent overflows of raw sewage into the streets.

Among those affected is Worthing businessman Michael Allamby who told Barbados TODAY this afternoon he had lost a rental car tenant as a direct result of the sewage problem.

Allamby, whose complex houses five businesses, including a restaurant, a retail store and a spa, however acknowledged the efforts of the BWA to bring the situation under control, but was eager for there to be a permanent fix.

“I would like the latest attempt at controlling the problem to hold,” he said, while urging the BWA to send in inspectors to disinfect the area.

One of Allamby’s tenants, Michelle Hurdle, who owns Christina’s Spa, complained that the “toxic” odour was making her ill.

“It [the sewage problem] isn’t getting any better. It getting worse and worse. The sewage does got me sick all the time when it acts up.

“From [last] weekend I was feeling really dizzy, light-headed, ‘vomity’ because it is an awful smell [and] I had to leave work [early today],” the businesswoman told Barbados TODAY, adding that she would be going to her doctor tomorrow.

Spokesman for the Worthing, Hastings and St Lawrence communities Adrian Donavan said last weekend was nothing short of a “nightmare” for residents.

“Sunday night, the whole area [Hastings and Worthing] was under severe pressure from the overflow of the sewage and the unbearable stench,” he said, while complaining that “no progress has been made.

“All we getting are apologies and we [the authorities are] going to do this and we are going to do that,” he charged.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) Shadow Minister of the Environment Wilfred Abrahams has described the ongoing sewage mess as a potential environmental and health disaster.

Suggesting that it was nothing short of a disgrace, Abrahams, in a statement today, argued that the situation was no longer an inconvenience, but a danger that demanded the full resources of Government to identify and solve the problem immediately.

“It is only the grace of God that to date, we have been spared from an outbreak of cholera or another faeces-borne illness. This is no longer a minor inconvenience, but a major environmental and health disaster, and must be treated as such,” the Opposition spokesman on the environment said, adding that the solution may be costly, but it was nothing compared to the fallout from an epidemic and the drain on “our already embattled health services, if the fears of many are ultimately realized”.

He said the BLP was concerned about the impact this problem would have on Barbadians living and working on the south coast.

15 Responses to South coast sewage ‘nightmare’ worsens

  1. Santini More
    Santini More November 14, 2017 at 5:35 am

    How is it that every time they say “we have fixed it” it comes back even worse? Have they never heard of Root Cause Analysis? Because clearly they are only putting in short term fixes instead of eliminating the source of the problem,

    • John Everatt November 14, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      I agree however I have not actually seen any “fixes” working on the South Coast. What strikes me is that they now say they are going to check for blockage. One would think that would be the first thing you would have checked for a long time ago when this all started to go pear shaped. The whole lot of you down at BWA needs to be fired for incompetence and get people in there with the right qualifications rather than friends and relatives of the ministers.

  2. Rhonda Parris
    Rhonda Parris November 14, 2017 at 6:29 am

    I feel the system has outgrown its use or things going in there that shouldn’t be that’s causing this I only went to Brumley or.

  3. Greengiant November 14, 2017 at 7:47 am

    @Rhonda Parris: You’ve hit the nail on the head. They need to tell Barbadians that the real problem is with grease entering the system, becoming solid and causing blockages. That area is filled with restaurants, and other small food vendors at night who all use a high level of grease. There’s also the possibility of domestic water containing grease and bypassing the traps.

    High levels of grease has been detected in the south coast system already in other areas, problem is this area between Hastings and worthing has the highest concentration of grease producers on that system. So many of you who constantly criticize the B W A sewerage division will be astonished i’m sure when ( if ever) the
    B W A reveal the facts of this problem. I urge them to call the media this time to show them the large blocks of solid fat they usually have to dissolve with chemical.

  4. hcalndre November 14, 2017 at 7:53 am

    I passed that area on numerous occasions about 5 years ago and always want to know how an area that has restaurants, hotels and visitors can smell that way for so long. The people that manage these projects just get the jobs because of connections and that they are not qualified in the particular fields, the PM stays in his comfort zone and do not get on the ministers that are responsible and let them know to get the job done or else they will be removed.

  5. Eddy Murray
    Eddy Murray November 14, 2017 at 8:55 am

    No storm or hurricane but a sewage storm in the south coast

  6. Ras Small
    Ras Small November 14, 2017 at 8:56 am

    Some of dem tanks/lines gotta be damage. Plus “some” ah de $$$$$ disappear to which certain aspects of sewage project were abandoned, same as wid highway project

  7. david gibbs November 14, 2017 at 9:10 am

    I get the impression that Ms. Inniss is fully engaged and committed to resolving this problem . She is easily accessible to the media, keeps the country inform on what is happening and seem to have a very hands on approach. Not all problems are easily resolved. Hope she can get the matter fixed soon.

  8. Jason Roachford
    Jason Roachford November 14, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Got alot of pump trucks need work.let them come and pump off the sewage.that should help a little till the problem is fixed

  9. Sue November 14, 2017 at 9:36 am

    We will return for our annual holiday on Dec. 2nd. This sewage problem was going on when we visited last year. There is 1 restaurant smack in the middle of this that we probably will not visit if this is present again this year. The parking lot a Big B had a faint smell of sewage and that was enough to make you not want to shop for food. Comeon Bim, 1 year is more than enough time to correct this public health problem!

  10. F.A.Rudder November 14, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    First of all this is not a political problem but an enveronmental and town planning one! The density of occupancy is high for that tourist belt and infrastructure was never planned to facilitate the large number of service recepticals feeding into the system the system can work well when volume is at its rated intake performance level but when added surface water run off is present the system becomes inadiquate and overburdened. An other sewer system located further inland and capable of bleaching break down and suspension filtration is needed.

  11. milli watt November 14, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I love it especially the pic of the car driving through it kicking up all the filth…….tourist season start this going be FUN……(SO GLAD I STILL GOT THE PIT TOILET)

  12. Belfast November 14, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    As a common American saying goes, The BWA cannot fix sh**.
    By the way Who, and where, is the Minister in charge?

  13. Jackquelynn Jones November 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    This is not a one year situation. It has been going on for three years. Obviously there is a blockage in the system, but BWA got a large grant several years ago specifically for new pumps, computer technology to identify blockages. Last year, plan was to replace with new pumps. The temporary fixes were put in place to get through tourist season, then the hell with it. Either they do not give a damn, are waiting for health crisis to occur, or just do not know what to do! Who wants to vacation/live/work in shit?

  14. Gerard Fernandes January 11, 2018 at 9:06 pm

    ARe there no engineers in Barbados that can solve this? It is a common problem all over US cities and we solve it using Chemical, physical, biological and educating the grease contributors


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