‘Six months too long for sewage fix’

Residents and business owner on the south coast say Government’s promised medium term strategies to address the long running sewage crisis could be too little, too late.

Minister of Water Resource Management Dr David Estwick said last Saturday that there would be relief from the long running sewage crisis in the next three to six months.

That was days after Barbados Water Authority (BWA) General Manager Keithroy Halliday had told Barbados TODAY the interim measures implemented by the water company to control the problem had failed and 300-foot wells would be dug as a matter of urgency.

Those who have endured the nightmare of raw sewage for well over a year said a three to six-month wait for relief was not good enough.

“By the time this thing fix the problem would be all over the south coast and the damage would be too much for us to recover from,” said one proprietor who did not want to be identified, but who revealed that she owned accommodations in St Lawrence Gap and Hastings.

“When trucks was up and down through here two Sundays ago the situation did not really look good. It really did not look good and my guests were asking what was going on. It hasn’t acted up since, but right now we are worried that it is going to act back up again,” she added in reference to a situation two weeks ago when businesses at St Lawrence Gap were thrown into a panic as septic trucks from the BWA and some from private contractors had to work through the evening to pump off wells, which had begun to leak through their covers.

In Hastings, Worthing, St Lawrence Gap and Maxwell, people who were previously unaffected by the effluence spills are reporting that some sewer caps in their area have begun to act up.

In Worthing, sewage has begun pooling on the compound of the Silver Fox arcade in the last week, forcing the owners to place sandbags to contain the foul smelling water. The arcade is the latest in a long line of businesses on that stretch of road to have been plagued with backflow of sewage onto their properties.

In the last three days, guests at the Silver Beach apartments were force to evacuate their holiday accommodation as sewage swamped the premises, while Worthing Post Office, which Government said would have been reopened at the beginning of this month after being shut for the last three months, remained closed this morning as the sewer caps in front of the building have been flowing with increasing ferocity for the last three weeks.

One bar owner told Barbados TODAY that should the problem flare up again in St Lawrence Gap with any degree of frequency, “the country might as well kiss the rest of the tourist season goodbye”.

Meanwhile the owner of Christina’s Spa in Worthing said she has been losing customers because of the stench and the mosquitoes that plague her business as a result of sewage pooled at the back the building.

“I won’t survive six months. As a matter of fact my skin is breaking out with rashes quite often and a lot of my customers are not coming back,” said the massage therapist, who preferred to be identified by her company’s name.

Speaking at a press conference at his ministry’s headquarters in Graeme Hall, Christ Church on Saturday, Estwick revealed that it was costing Government $18,000 per day to pump off overflows.

He also said Government had given the go-ahead to fast track the medium-term strategy of digging several injection wells to divert the waste, even as he maintained that there was little that could be done, other than the scheduled pumping of the compromised manholes, to minimize the overflows, which have been a feature of some streets in Worthing and Hastings since 2016.

This morning, community activist Adrian Donovan told Barbados TODAY that at the rate that new sewer caps were being breached, the cost of removing the sewage was bound to get out of control.

“The problem is really bad and business people I am talking to are really worried. That is why we having a town hall meeting to discuss all these things tomorrow. The problem is getting worse,” Donovan said.

Attempts to reach Halliday were unsuccessful.

26 Responses to ‘Six months too long for sewage fix’

  1. James Franks February 15, 2018 at 6:00 am

    So,finally, the truth is out,all efforts to fix the protracted problem have failed and there is no end in sight to this disaster.
    Probably, spells the death of tourism on the South Coast as the sewage leaks slowly worsen and begin to spread over a much wider area.

    • Berestford Leon Phillips February 15, 2018 at 2:19 pm

      BLP built the south coast sewerage project without any vision
      BLP built the sewage plant to serve a capacity of 3,000 households.

      Proverbs 29:18 King James Version (KJV)
      Where there is no vision, the people perish

  2. jrsmith February 15, 2018 at 6:06 am

    Six months this is purposely being done by the government , they don’t want to fix the sewage problem , they have done nothing in Barbados for ten years …. Fixing the sewage problem and loosing the up coming elections , just as like the bat and ball days , these people will never grow up … They rum shop attitude is destroying Barbados………………….

  3. seagul February 15, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Growing up in the constituent area of CH.West south represented by Dr.Agard, we never had time for these rum shop politicians. The struggling poor and their future generations were never really seriously considered. There are now too many political hustlers out there without vision or inspiration for the nation as a whole. It’s just their party, their empty rum-shop cornbeef attitudes. Six months and the millions flow into their accounts in Switzerland?

  4. Spectre February 15, 2018 at 9:01 am

    $18,000 per day… ouch

    • Leroy February 15, 2018 at 11:57 am

      Going into whose pocket?

      If I was in charge and unscrupulous of course I had to get my share before i demit office.

  5. F.A.Rudder February 15, 2018 at 11:07 am

    The initial engineering plans must have had a design flaw or plumbing equations were not meant for the volume of effluent being dispensed into the sewer mains. During the commissioning of the plant and inception period, flow and discharge analysis should have been monitored consistently and remarks made for future enhancement. The year 2016 AD was a year of celebration and due to more than usual volumes of sewage; this would have been recorded thus; causing overload situations on the already burdened plant. Barometric pressure and tidal heights can be situations to look into when discharging treated wastewater. A city sewerage system needs constant inspections and maintenance management combined with a biological team of laboratory personnel.

  6. Donild Trimp February 15, 2018 at 11:09 am

    Speaking at a press conference ——– on Saturday, Estwick revealed that it was costing Government $18,000 per day to pump off overflows ————– even as he maintained that there was little that could be done, other than the scheduled pumping of the compromised manholes, to minimize the overflows

    The above is coming from a Minister of Government.

    Is Barbados truly a country run by educated fools? How else can one explain such a stupid statement coming from a Minister in a ruling Government seeking re-election in an upcoming election?


  7. allison archer February 15, 2018 at 11:25 am

    don’t understand why I can’t freely speak my thoughts, isn’t the land a democracy anymore
    what is wrong with people anyhow I guess it is what it is
    be bless in Christ’s love

  8. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 11:47 am

    If that is too long, then they can fix it themselves in 24 or 48 hours.

    The problem didnt originate over night and it cant be fix over night if thats what they are thinking.

    • Leroy February 15, 2018 at 12:00 pm

      Estwick revealed that it was costing Government $18,000 per day to pump off overflows.

      is that figure correct?

      $18,000 aint about 25 truck loads of sewage a day?

  9. Donild Trimp February 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    @ Carson Cadogan:
    The issue is with the Minister saying that there was little that could be done about the sewage problem other than the scheduled pumping of the compromised manholes.

    Really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Should a Minister of Government make such a statement about a serious sewage problem plaguing Barbados?

    No rational thought was given in making that statement.

  10. jrsmith February 15, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Would a day ever come , when we would be able to do for ourselves , that s design and develop our own ideas , by our own bajan engineers ……………………..
    To cure the problem they are planning to drill wells , stupid 50 year old ideas just for now and the well fills up and then what…………..

  11. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    Dr Agard had a blistering start in her new role, slamming the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), which expelled her in November 2015 after a nasty row with BLP leader Mia Mottley, contending her former party should be held responsible for the sewage crisis on the south coast because it had mishandled the sewerage project from the beginning………..

    “The sewerage system of the south coast did not start with the negligence of the Barbados Water Authority with this dispensation. It did not begin in 2015, neither did it start with the failure to maintain the equipment as suggested by the Opposition.

    “The problem of the south coast sewerage treatment facility started from the beginning with its implementation in the late 1990s and early 2000,” she charged.

    “The people of Christ Church West, the people of Harts Gap where I live . . . have been complaining about that sewerage system and that it was fundamentally flawed from the start,” Agard told the House, adding that legal action over the sewage problems started before the current administration came to power in 2008.

    Contending that the system should not be regarded as obsolete after just 20 years, the new UPP legislator added: “After the expenditure of $139 million, in 2000,
    what the people of the south coast received was nothing more than a primary treatment plant to serve a capacity of 3,000 households.”

    Maria agard

  12. Greengiant February 15, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    @ Carson C Cadogan: Maria mouth opened and the cat jumped out. I always said that the opposition is not faultless in this sewage mess. I now want all Barbadians to know that the contractor bypassed all domestic grease traps and connected kitchen sinks straight to the sewage lines in all south coast neighborhoods.

    The B W A needs to conduct random inspections of all properties to confirm what i’m saying. BOLT projects can be problematic unless they’re policed by credible engineers. The grease will always be a problem because the plant is not designed to treat grease. The pipes are being blocked and back up is occurring due to the years of grease in these lines.

  13. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    What the Govt. should do to ease the problem, is to reconnect as many households as possible back onto their personal wells. All the households and businesses still have their wells. Cap off the lines to the sewage system for the time being.

    This would reduce the amount of sewage going through the sewage lines and the waste water coming up through the manholes would disappear. It would also buy the BWA some valuable time to carry out remedial work on the poorly built Sewage Coast Sewage Plant.

  14. sticks and stones February 15, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Any or everybody with two cents worth of common sense could come reached the same conclusion Agarad expounded about the system and it’s design. The blp yardfowls and its leadership has been trying very hard to void itself of any blame about the system which in my mind was so telling that they wanted to cover their tracks. . However facts are facts and there is no way of hiding or getting around them

  15. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    That sewage plant was built to last for 35 years.

    Yet it is only about half that in years and already we have big problems with it.

    I have written to one of the companies which built the plant, Soares Da Costa asking some questions about it but they have not responded to me as yet.


  16. M.D.M. February 15, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    OK. The design of the sewage plant may (might) have been wrong when it was built. That was under the B.L.P.

    This Government has been in office now for 10 years (not 10 months). Plenty of time to get it right from early. Now we hear 3 to 6 months with no guarantee.

    Where is the idea of being pro-active? What is being done now should have been done a year ago – or more. The writing was on the wall.

    Please prove that the Authority in this national disgrace know what they are doing. No evidence as yet……it is now too late.

    • Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 7:51 pm

      It is never too late unless you want it to be too late.

  17. Carson C. Cadogan February 15, 2018 at 8:01 pm


    Football official on bail

    A football administrator is out on $25,000 bail for allegedly using threatening language to a female constable and committing several traffic offences.

    Adrian Donovan, 59, of Maxwell Gardens, Christ Church, appeared in the District “B” Magistrates’ Court on the charges, which also included driving without due care and attention, without reasonable consideration, without insurance and without road tax when police stopped him on Bright Hill, St Patricks, Christ Church around 9:20 p.m. on Saturday.


  18. Alex Alleyne February 15, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    I feel real sorry for the next Party that is sworn into Office. So many things are in such terrible shape that they too will be under serious pressure day after day.

  19. Lorenzo February 15, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    carson cadogan,you are a lowlife Dem yardfowl .What does that story about Mr Donovan has to do with the sewerage mess?Mr Donavan is representing the people inhis area over the incompetence of your DLP,especially the Minister Dr Estwick who suddenly found his voice last week after hiding behind Mr Halliday who is new to the position and the Minister of LEC dr Lowe who is responsible for the Environment and not a word from him.Therefore do not attack the messenger deal with the message and get the problem fixed J/A.By the way you paid that old lady light bill yet?I hope you do not pass back by her house.

  20. luther thorne February 16, 2018 at 12:42 am

    OK. The design of the sewage plant may (might) have been wrong when it was built. That was under the B.L.P.

    It was designed under the DLP and the BLP had to execute when they came to Office

    So casting Blame ?
    Its the DLP To BLAME

    • Carson C. Cadogan February 16, 2018 at 5:40 am

      We have only your jaundiced word for that.

  21. Carson C. Cadogan February 16, 2018 at 5:44 am

    The Govt. ought to ask back for the Euro 41 million the Barbados Labour Party paid for the South Coast Sewage Plant.

    By the way that was three times what it was budgeted to cost. In whose pockets did the extra money go????


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