People living in parts of St Lucy and St Peter are praying that the discoloured water coming from their taps would soon come to an end. They are hoping to see clean, clear water soon.
“The water brown, and it got in rust. You can’t wash white clothes or really drink the water when it is like this. This has been going on for about six months now. We really can’t deal with this much longer,” said Checker Hall, St Lucy resident 65-year-old Corene Armstrong. She was among those who spoke to a Barbados TODAY team that visited some of the affected areas this morning.
As the residents and businesses cope with the “inconvenience” the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has advised those impacted by the discoloured water that a team was still working on the project started on October 17. The Authority explained that the first phase of the programme entailed the insertion of chlorine and a swab sponge into the ten-inch water main between Barrows, St Lucy and the junction of Shermans and Colleton St Peter.
The programme will enter phase two in the next few weeks and customers are encouraged to follow the progress via the BWA’s social media channels. According to the BWA, the discoloured water may still appear intermittently until all of the phases have been completed. BWA has indicated that should this occur, water tanker assistance could be requested by contacting the customer care department.
However, Armstrong explained that cooking and washing had not been the same since the brown water started running from her taps. Uncovering buckets filled with the water, Armstrong complained that she has had to find alternative means to wash her clothing, especially the whites.
“The water was so brown, sometimes you even have to put some chlorox (bleach) in it. It is very difficult when you have to use water like this, especially when you have to cook. I have my white clothes to wash for church.
“When the rain fall I have to put buckets to catch the water, because if I put them in that water them spoil.
“I am hoping that something will be done to help us with this problem. You got to drink it because sometimes you ain’t able to buy water all the time you know. Sometimes you boil it and it is still rusty,” Armstrong said. Her husband George agreed. He added “I was passing by the standpipe the other day, and I see the water coming from it look like brown paint. I feel the mains want changing.”
Meanwhile, an elderly woman in Clinketts, St Lucy, who requested anonymity, described the problem as “really terrible”.
“This is a serious thing yeah. I don’t even drink that water,” she said.
Judy Rollins, who also lives in the same area also complained that the discoloured water has ruined her white clothing. Initially, when she discovered the water dilemma, she thought something had gone wrong with her plumbing system.
“Even if you catch the water and put it in the fridge, when you go back, all the rust settled at the bottom of the container, she added.
At the Half Moon Fort Primary School located just a stone’s throw away from Rollins’ home, students and staff have been encouraged to walk with their own drinking water.
Though this newspaper did not receive an official comment from the institution, the team understands that the pipes at the school have been flushed numerous times since the start of the term. However, the issue is still a matter of concern.