Illegal dumping threatens water supply, warns official

A senior environmental health officer has expressed concern that the growing problem of illegal dumping not only threatens this country’s environment, but its drinking water supply.

Environmental Health Officer Ryle Rock raised the concern following the cleanup of an illegal dumping site in White Hall, St Peter yesterday.

He pointed out that several truckloads of refuse were dumped near a Barbados Water Authority pumping station, putting the safety of the water supply at risk.

“It has tremendous significance with respect to the contamination of our underground water supply, and that is why we are here this morning to send a message to haulers to make the trips to [the St Thomas landfill], so we wouldn’t have problems with illegal dumping,” Rock said.

He blamed the latest unsightly pile-up on the negligence of a private hauler who he said was paid to dispose of the garbage legally at the landfill but could not make it.

Therefore, he said, that hauler would have asked a friend to do the job for him and that friend chose “the shortest place he could find to dispose of the refuse.

“So the proprietor was given instructions to clear this particular spot,” Rock explained, adding that yesterday’s cleanup came at an additional cost to the company, which was forced to pay a second contractor to clear the area.

Rock also reiterated his appeal to haulers to dispose of their waste legitimately.

Just last week, the department ordered the clearing of illegal dumping sites at Christie Village and Vaucluse in St Thomas as they continued their crack down on the practice.

Rock said this included stepped up monitoring of other areas in the north of the island, including Indian Ground and Sailor Gully in St Peter, as well as parts of St Lucy.

Barbados Today