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BWA has eye on who’s doing it

MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

BWA has eye on who’s doing it

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The Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has identified some of the customers dumping waste which has been clogging up the South Coast sewer lines.

But general manager Keithroy Halliday said the BWA would first embark on a comprehensive educational awareness programme before taking punitive action.

“We have a list of some customers who may be . . . inadvertently contributing to what we consider to be illicit material in the system,” he noted. “We have written letters and we are monitoring that situation with them. So we have identified a number of people of concern, not necessarily in terms of some of the extreme material, but some extraneous materials; sometimes storm water or stuff like that.”

Halliday explained that the BWA could disconnect persons from the system and also bring court action against people who deliberately compromised the network, but he pointed out that the penalties were not prohibitive.

“We have a level of control where we can disconnect, via appropriate means and protocols, individuals we think are guilty of abusing the system. We have the authority to remove [those who] are compromising our system, based on connections to the sewer, in the interest of preserving the sewer and in the interest of protecting those establishments as well.”

In addition he revealed that persons who contravened the act which governed the sewage system could be fined $1 000, while employees who impeded the orderly flow and maintenance of the system could be fined $96 or given three months in prison.

Pointing out that the act was established in the 1980s, Halliday admitted that “these fines are really not punitive”, adding that the Government would have to take another look at the legislation.

However he said the BWA had started its educational programme in earnest.

“We have met with members of the  [Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association] and explained to them all the possibilities and all probabilities that could occur. We have distributed our booklet which contains what you can and cannot put into the system. We plan to have meetings with some other stakeholders and clients . . . .

We will gather them in a meeting and sit and explain to them the specific challenges we are having and the particular materials which are entering our system, which are problematic.” (MB)