The island’s sole water company has announced plans to go after businesses and homeowners who dispose of grease and other inappropriate materials into the south coast sewerage system.
The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) today suggested its appeals through public awareness campaigns appeared to be falling on death ears, as BWA workers were continuing to find large amounts of emulsified grease in the lines on a daily basis.
Therefore, a tough talking General Manager Keithroy Halliday warned the water company would no longer depend solely on the spirit of corporation from the public.
“Despite the fact that everybody has been made aware, or should be aware, of the challenges that we have had, we are still seeing these things coming into our lines. This means that as we are trying to fix, we are inundated with blockages that hamper our progress. It also tells us that there is not yet that level of appreciation for the dangers and hazards that this is posing to our system, which ultimately adds to the cost,” Halliday told a press conference this afternoon held to
update the media on plans to address the ongoing south coast sewage crisis.
“As a consequence to what is happening this water authority now has no choice but to seriously and aggressively step up enforcement. We need to put everyone on notice that we have no choice but to pursue this by all means under the law. We know that this is not going to be well understood by all but we have no choice. It is either we do it this way or we continue to be in a reactive mode where the management of our sewer line system is concerned,” he added.
Halliday said the BWA would ramp up inspection of commercial and residential properties, and those that do not have proper disposal methods for storm water or grease could be disconnected from the system.
However, he explained that even though the BWA was taking a tougher stance, it did not mean an end to efforts to educate and sensitize the users of the sewerage system, which has been under severe pressure for the last three years.
“I would like to appeal once again to the level of conscientiousness from the public at large as to what this really means. I would like to appeal to all commercial houses who have visitors, who may not yet appreciate what is happening. We need to ensure that there is respect being accorded to our sewer network in the manner in which disposals are happening. We are also putting into place a serious degreasing programme, which would involve a number of companies,” the general manager said.