The Cane Garden Bay beach, which was closed last week following the discovery of an unusually high number of bacteria in the water should reopen soon, Chief Environmental Health Officer, Lionel Micheal has assured.
“Naturally, those things will die off once we can control the source going into the sea. In a day or two, sunlight and dilution will take care of it. The beach not going to put out itself, it will rehabilitate itself in short order; that’s nature,” he told BVI News Online on Tuesday.
Last week a release from the Government quoted Acting Chief Conservation Officer, Kelvin Penn as saying that the unusual number of bacteria may have resulted from the excess runoff into the sea because of heavy rainfall and a non-functioning sewage treatment plant in the area.
While, at the time, he did not reveal the type of bacteria found in the water, our sources said it was suspected to be the deadly Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria – a type of bacteria that lives inside the intestines of humans and animals.
However, the environmental officer, when asked this week the type of bacteria that was discovered said it has not been confirmed whether it is E. coli.
He said however that this was likely to be so, adding that microbial testing will be conducted for official confirmation.
“We are doing an assessment of it and we are looking to do analysis in terms of microbiological testing. We haven’t done the testing as yet, but we know, since we have the runoff from land, waste from land, sewage from land, that those things are likely to be there,” said Micheal.
In the meantime, he is urging persons to refrain from bathing at the beach until further notice.
“We want to caution people about bathing in those kinds of waters because of the runoff that is taking place,” he said.
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