The National Conservation Commission (NCC) is being hit with a hefty water bill each month because beachgoers are not turning off taps in public bathrooms and shower facilities.
Speaking to the media Friday morning at NCC’s Codrington, St Michael headquarters, General Manager Keith Neblett said there was too much water wastage at facilities which the Commission oversees. Although unable to give an estimate of annual costs, he said the amount was overwhelming.
In an effort to reduce the amount of money it has had to shell out, the NCC introduced systems to control water use at its facilities, including reducing the number of taps. However, Neblett said, the NCC was not getting the public’s full cooperation and people were still leaving taps running.
“Where we [had] two or three of them at some sites, we reduced it to one. But still we are having that problem. I don’t think sometimes Barbadians are conscious that we are a water scarce country,” he lamented.
“They go to these facilities and they take no heed, in terms of what is happening around the island where some people in other parishes are not getting water. When you go down Brandon’s, Enterprise and Browne’s Beach you will see people running the water continuously.”
One of the other water saving measures utilized by the NCC was retrofitting toilets to use 40 to 50 per cent of water per flush.
“We are also trying to use drip irrigation at some of our sites to reduce the water. So, . . . where there is a high use of water at particular facilities, we are embarking on some of those programmes,” the general manager added.
However, water wastage is not the only problem the NCC is experiencing at its facilities.
Neblett said another challenge was the significant increase in the amount of garbage being dumped in the 18 skips it has placed around the island.
He was quick to add that he preferred people to use the dumpsters provided to get rid of their litter, instead of polluting the environment. However, he complained that, some members of the public were dumping dead animals and household items in the skips.
“Particularly down at Brandon’s [Beach], it is really problematic. If you put a small bag of grass we would make no fuss, but when you get to the point that you want to put a fridge and a stove and that type of thing, that’s problematic. And I think everybody has to take some type of responsibility for the garbage,” Neblett said.
In another case, he said, the skip that had been placed in front of Government Headquarters on Bay Street had to be removed because the pile-up of garbage had become unbearable.
Neblett noted that the NCC was playing its role in reducing the amount of garbage going to the landfill, through composting.
“What we are doing is that we also have a wood shredder that we are using to take some of the trees, shred it, bag it and sell it,” he explained.