The vile smell of raw sewage leaking from manholes has hit the south coast communities of Worthing and Rendezvous once again, this time more pungent than ever, in what residents said was a recurring nightmare.
When Barbados TODAY visited the affected areas Monday, residents complained that the latest episode following last night’s rainfall was causing them significant discomfort.
“Up to this morning the sewage was running out of here and ran all the way into the pond,” gardener Isedore Isaacs said while pointing to a manhole.
“All here was full with water,” he added in frustration.
Issacs pointed to a resident’s yard where the water with the raw sewage had been flowing.
While the water level had dropped, there was a waterline about a foot-and-a-half high, clearly showing sewage that had settled there.
“I thought they said that it was fixed but it happens all the time,” he said in reference to the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) which gave the assurance earlier this year that the sewage problem that plagued the south coast last year had been resolved.
“Everytime you get a good shower [of rain] it just keeps repeating all the time . . . . The stench was real bad this morning. It would discourage people from visiting the area. The people had to walk on the sidewalk to avoid walking into the sewage,” he added. The BWA released a statement Monday blaming a failed trash pump and an increase in fats, oils and grease for “the high level of sewage that has been dumped on the streets and communities on the south coast over the weekend”.
Manager of the Waste Water Division Patricia Inniss said the water company was addressing the problem and maintenance of one of the pumps was expected to be completed Monday.
“This should see the return of the wastewater levels to normal within 24 hours,” Inniss said in the statement, adding that the authorities had approved the purchase of a second trash pump, which was expected to be shipped shortly.
“In the interim, BWA crews have been deodorizing the affected area,” she said.
It was just last week that Inniss said the BWA had a “crisis” of major proportions on its hands, in terms of the problems plaguing the island’s sewage disposal system.
“We have our hands filled in a lot of pockets that all need to be addressed. Unfortunately, they have been deteriorating overtime, so everything has become a crisis. But we just can’t pretend [they don’t exist] . . . , we have to deal with them,” Inniss said during a news conference called to officially launch surveys in the capital Bridgetown, as well as Worthing and Oistins, Christ Church areas.
Inniss had also said the BWA would work closely with the Sanitation Service Authority to implement a better system for handling sludge and other forms of waste.
At the same time, she said the authority was doing everything humanly possible to prevent a recurrence of the serious wastewater overflow problems, which affected the south coast some six months ago and was in the process of installing four new effluent pumps.