The 13-hour downpour experienced by Barbados as the tail end of Tropical Storm Kirk lashed the island most of last night into this morning, has not further compromised the already beleaguered south coast sewage system.
That assurance came from Minister of Energy and Water Resources Wilfred Abrahams, who told Barbados TODAY that measures implemented by the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) had handled the massive amounts of storm water.
“I am pleased to report that the precautionary measures for the sewage system appear to be successful. Both the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant and the South Coast Plant stood up well and there are no overflows or any issues related to sewage spills,” said Abrahams.
The Minister acknowledged that there would have been concerns about the ability of the South Coast Sewage Plant to handle the significant rainfall, in light of the fact that the Government was still in the process of finding a permanent fix after more than two years of consistent sewage spills onto the streets.
Last month, he revealed that excavation work which began in June on sewer lines in the vicinity of the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, had brought the BWA closer to finding the source of the problem.
This morning, Abrahams explained that his Ministry has been busy creating contingencies to ensure that the hard work was not undone, and he said he was happy that proper planning had paid off in the end.
“We took the precaution of clearing a number of canals around the Graeme Hall swamp and the sluice gate was opened. That proved to be a very wise decision because the levels of the swamp rose as expected with the heavy rainfall and the water progressed nicely out to the sea, so we had no issues. We are quite pleased with how everything went and it shows that a stitch in time saves nine,” Abrahams stressed.
However, he pointed out that some manhole covers were dislodged. Concerned that this occurrence would be mistaken for sewage overflows, the Minister sought to explain that it strictly related to rising ground water and, therefore, presented no reason for panic.
“For a long time our ground water has found its way into the sewer network, so every time we get that amount of rain you would see some of the manhole covers coming off. We are just waiting for the floodwater to subside and then we would replace those covers,” Abrahams assured.