The bothersome issue of raw sewage on the south coast seems to the lingering, despite last week’s reopening of Worthing Beach, and assurances from the authorities that the problem had been fixed.
Business owners at the Hastings Mall say the problem remains real for them and is taking a financial toll on them .
Proprietors told Barbados TODAY that even though the pumps at the South Coast Sewerage Treatment Plant may be functioning; any significant rainfall causes the wells opposite the mall to overflow and results in a horrible stench at the popular shopping centre.
Last month the BWA blamed the broken pump for dumping the vile-smelling effluence along the street in the south coast and reported that it had finally been repaired. However when Barbados TODAY visited the area this morning, the pungent odour of sewage was still present.
“Every time it rains, the well gets full and the water backs in here and our stuff [sewage] has nowhere to go and is backed up into our system and the scent is killing us and our customers in here. This is not a problem that has just started, it has been going on for years now and it is only because we had a long dry season that we didn’t have much of a flare up before now,” said one store manager.
According to business workers there, the recent stench caused by the overflowing wells, have resulted in a significant drop in patronage at the mall.
“People don’t want to stop here when it rains because they have to drive through that stinking water and the scent gets on their tyres. One time the water in the well filled up so much that the cap blew off and spilled sewage onto the streets,” added a store clerk.
He also said that whenever this happens, the ZRs refuse to pick up passengers from the nearby bus stops for fear of the stench getting into their vehicles.
“The ZR vans don’t stop for anybody out here once that well overflows because they say that it dirtying up their vans and make them smell musty, so people have to go the bus stop above. It is making business terrible,” stressed another frustrated store manager.
Persons were also concerned that the overflowing sewage was making its way to the sea as the surface drainage runs off to the ocean.
“The drain is right here in the road and it goes across the road into the ocean. So all the water there that coming out of the sewage wells into the road and into the same drain . . . flows into the sea,” he added.
Meanwhile, one Worthing resident told Barbados TODAY that he has spent $700 in gasoline just this week, to pump the effluents flowing onto his property from the leaking caps close to the Worthing post office.
“I would invite the BWA or the Minister of Health to come out here when it rains, to see and smell what this area is like. I am not sure if the problem can be fixed because these are low lying areas. But if the BWA could send trucks to pump off the overflow and sanitize the area, it would help,” said the gentleman, who spoke with Barbados TODAY on condition of anonymity.