No quick fix to sewage problem, warns Estwick

Barbadians and visitors alike are being warned that they may have to stomach the recurring sewage stench along the south coast for a while longer.

Minister of Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick issued the warning yesterday in response to persistent complaints from residents and business operators in the area that the sporadic problem of raw sewage overflowing into the streets was simply not going away and was ruining their lives.

However, Estwick warned that there could be no permanent relief until a modern treatment plant is built, even though he could not say definitively when the situation would be fully remedied.

In the meantime, he is appealing to affected residents and business operators along the south coast of the island to bear with the authorities given the magnitude of the challenges being experienced with the existing system for which he stressed that there was no quick fix solution.

“My personal position is that we will do a stop-gap measure, but what we need is to build a modern facility that would carry us into the next 40 [to] 50 years and let that facility be of the highest technology of the period,” Estwick said, adding that “one of the things that I want to ensure that does not occur is that we are not going to waste our effluent out in the ocean.”

Speaking to Barbados TODAY on the sidelines of Wednesday’s launch of a new project by the Barbados Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation, Estwick, who is also the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries, explained that the new sewage plant would be a tertiary facility which means that “you have essentially water quality of drinking standards . . . and we are going to have that water, instead of being sent out to the ocean [as its presently the case] to feed the fish, come back in and recharge the aquifers . . . especially during our periods of drought which we expect to come very soon”.

However, he was insistent that Government alone must not be made to shoulder all the blame for the current sewage mess, explaining that some physical structures and equipment that were in use along the south coast had not met the Town & Country Planning requirements.

In addition, Estwick said breaches were discovered in the sewage distribution system, which he maintained could not be blamed on the Government.

“You can’t blame a Government for that. That is just natural, ageing degradation and poor technology use at the time,” he said, while acknowledging the need for  quick and aggressive action with the near three decades old sewage plant also dogged by frequent breakdowns of the pumps, as well as capacity and other challenges.

14 Responses to No quick fix to sewage problem, warns Estwick

  1. archy perch November 24, 2017 at 2:11 am

    Adrian-Ocky- Donovan is playing his political card whenever he takes to the airwaves in all his fury to the point of shouting. Angry as he is for not getting the big job at the National Sports Council present circumstances suit him to take a turn at the government whenever he can. But he fact of he matter is tat the last administration under Owen Arthur could have solved the problem and did nothing. One of the successes of a crooked Barbados Labor Party.

  2. jrsmith November 24, 2017 at 6:02 am

    Bajans are being played daily by politicians who set out to do nothing , just promising everything because an election is pending…… The total infrastructure of Barbados have been untouched for 4 decades , everything needs replacing or upgrading …..
    Both the 2 party system is to be blame for Barbados failures along with the party faithfuls , who never look beyond the names on voting papers…………..In a way you can compare now with 50 years ago ,

  3. John Everatt November 24, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Estwick says he will not put the effluent into the ocean however where does he think it goes when it is all over the roads? It doesn’t just evaporate.

  4. straight talk November 24, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Thee pittbull back out elections soon

  5. Tony Webster November 24, 2017 at 8:10 am

    Hon.Minister only adding to the lotta stuff oozing from the Worthing area. Help us, Sir….STOPTALKING…START PACKING.

  6. Sue November 24, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    1 week to go before we return for our annual holiday in Barbados. This Minister does not seem to understand that at the very LEAST this sewage presents a Public Health risk. It has been going on for over a year now. This would not happen in my country or in many European countries. It would have been dealt with within days. Someone should explain to this man that human waste harbors many diseases.

  7. Ossie Moore November 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Anyway David fellas like I, when we touch down direct our sensors to the Atlantic side of the island to enjoy undisturbed Atlantic breezes and the rythem of the white ocean caps being delivered with constant pace along with a a wondrefully made aromatic concoctioned beverage!

  8. jrsmith November 24, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    @ Sue, hail, hail , this sewage problem was going on for more than a decade on the other side of the island……………..

  9. Ann Thomas November 24, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    The only thing we need a quick fix to now is this government.

    They have clearly demonstrated that they can’t fix anything. I suppose they will soon be telling us to take responsibility for this too.

  10. Belfast November 24, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Wait ! who rattled his chains?

  11. luther thorne November 24, 2017 at 6:31 pm


    Who joining me
    Meet me by DLP , George Street where I shall wait to walk with Donville Inniss to Government house

  12. Jus me November 24, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Summat heah smell real.bad
    Number 1
    Number 2
    dat de TURD time i hear dis.


  13. Tony Webster November 24, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    @ Jus me… mashin’ my toes…and givin’ me belly-hurt.

  14. Donild Trimp November 24, 2017 at 8:05 pm

    —- “he was insistent that Government alone must not be made to shoulder all the blame for the current sewage mess, explaining that some physical structures and equipment that were in use along the south coast had not met the Town & Country Planning requirements”.

    “You can’t blame a Government for that”

    Are you really a Minister?

    Last time I checked, the Town and Country Planning Dept was under the control of the Barbados Gov’t.

    There are two methods by which development can occur legally in Barbados:
    (a) by a specific grant of planning permission from either the Chief Town Planner, or the Minister with responsibility for Town Planning.

    (b) through the operation of the Town and Country Development Order (1972) permitted development.


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