BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday December 8, 2016 – One of Barbados’ popular south coast beaches has been reopened, five days after officials closed it over concerns about poor water quality.
Worthing Beach was closed on December 3, following claims that it had been compromised by raw sewage. But this morning, Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy officially reopened the beach, saying that sea bathers had nothing to fear and assuring that no sewage was going into the water.
Sealy, who lives nearby, said reports that raw sewage had been leaking into the sea were totally untrue.
“This is not raw sewage,” the minister said as he looked at the brownish water which had settled several feet from the sea. “Raw sewage is grey; that’s why they call it grey water. If that was raw sewage, there was no way that we would be able to stand up so close to it because the smell would be [unbearable].”
Sealy, along with Minister of Health John Boyce took a swim in the water shortly after the beach was reopened.
Following a trough system which dumped six inches of rain on the island last week, several sewage wells along the popular tourist area overflowed into the streets, causing a stink.
But Boyce has insisted that the brackish water being released into the sea at Worthing Beach had nothing to do with overflowing sewage on the landward side. He told Parliament yesterday that the discolouration of the water at the Worthing Beach was coming from the nearby Graeme Hall swamp.
“When the mixing occurs, naturally the brownish colouration of the swamp would interfere with the beautiful pristine waters of our beaches. And this has occurred from time to time and this is not anything new,” he said.
“Whenever there is an over collection of water in the swamp it is necessary to allow that runoff to occur.”