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Businesses close because of stench

MARIA BRADSHAW, [email protected]

Businesses close because of stench

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For the second consecutive day, businesses near to the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant in Lakes Folly, The City, were forced to close because of a stench emanating from the plant.

The Waste Water Division (WWD) of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) reported that the odour was the result of a noxious substance which was dumped at the plant last weekend.

The overbearing smell has resulted in workers falling ill and complaining of breathing difficulties, headaches and burning eyes.

Residents living in areas surrounding the plant such as Lakes Folly, Chapman Lane and Emmerton have also been affected.

Yesterday, the stench seemed more unpleasant than it had been on Monday at times.

From Cheapside to Fontabelle and along the Harbour Road, staff at various establishments were sent home and signs posted on doors announcing that the businesses were closed because of an environmental problem.

They included Pan American Life Insurance and Partners in Parenting Preschool on Cheapside. Keith King, general manager of Pan American Life, said they took the precaution to send home staff while expressing hope that the situation would improve by today.

Along Fontabelle, Branckers, which never opened on Monday, ended up closing its doors at noon as the smell became unbearable, while its neighbour, Rubis service station, shut shop in the early afternoon for the second day.

At Harbour Road, an official at Oran Limited, which was also forced to close again, confidently announced they would be opened today.

Meanwhile, staff at KM2 Solutions who fell ill were allowed to leave work early.

In a press release last night, the WWD reported that it was getting the stench under control.

“Efforts . . . to control a strong odour from the Bridgetown Sewage Treatment Plant on Monday, February 12, have yielded results,” it noted.

“After identifying the substance which was off-loaded at the plant on Saturday, February 10, and which contributed to the noxious scent, WWD operators have started replenishing bacteria integral to the treatment process. This has been able to contain the odour considerably.”

While apologising for the inconvenience, the BWA reiterated it had strengthened its policies for monitoring all waste coming into the plant and was reminding haulers to observe established regulations for dumping there. (MB)

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