BVI News

Poor practices by residents said to be the cause of sewerage issue in East End

Chief Environmental Officer Lionel Michael

The Department of Environmental Health has reported that the wastewater seen throughout various communities on Tortola is as a result of poor practices by some residents.

The department said it arrived at that conclusion after conducting an assessment in the communities of Belle Vue, Fat Hogs Bay, Hodge’s Creek and East End. It further said poor practise as it relates to wastewater disposal is a violation of the Public Health Act.

According to Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel Michael, the aforementioned communities were monitored and inspected after his department received numerous reports and complaints about the wastewater issue.

He said the department concluded that the untreated wastewater that is being made to flow on the streets of these eastern communities was coming from privately-owned septic tanks which are being poorly managed.

“The discharge of wastewater throughout our communities exposes residents to numerous health risks. It also undermines the integrity of our roads by creating gullies and potholes, which directly impede the flow of traffic and can even result in automobile accidents,” Michael stated.

The department is asking all residents who may need assistance in wastewater management to contact the Environmental Health Division at 284-468-5110.

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  1. What do you expect says:

    When all the houses being built or build sewer lines run to the sea.

    Like 3
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  2. Devon says:

    So you are aware of the problem, you see it with your own eyes as we do…. what are you going to do about it ? Shouldn’t the law be enforced on these offenders ?

    Like 25
    • BVIYoungster says:

      Thank you @Devon. We the residence don’t know everything, building to the best we can. IT IS FOR YOU now GOV to give that Assistance, that Advance Knowledge and help upgrade the way we construct these septics. “Poor Management” from your department in the FIRST PLACE!

      Like 2
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  3. Well says:

    Instead of waiting for people to come forward (they won’t), go to them. Educate them. Help them understand the issue. Find ways of funding the less fortunate owners. There is a whole business sector here: inspect septics, pump them out every 5-7 years, create plans for upgrades. We can no longer keep doing what we’ve always done, at least not without increasing the risk of communicable diseases that won’t exactly attract people to these shores.

    Like 15
  4. Oh well says:

    Some law need to put in place to address the issue. If they have not taken the correct route in the first place to dispose of these this sewage and waste water problem are they going to come in to the dept. For help? Even up the hill in Hodges Creek by the orange apt. The water pipe under the road is burst and all the sewage water is running in to it. One morning last week wen i woke up the water coming from the pipe was stink. Could not be used. Now suppose we had put that water in our mouths to brush our teeth can you imagine what could have happened ? This is inacceptable. Something needs to be done about these issues. You dont have these things happening in Paradise?

    Like 4
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  5. E. Leonard says:

    Quality and safe sewage best management practices are a quality of life issue that is an expected standard in developed countries. Exposure to raw sewage pose serious health risks to people; they can be infected with a variety of diseases. The question is why is sewage running in the street? Assuming that all or most of the buildings in the assessed areas are on septic systems, was the system poorly designed, constructed and maintained? Was the system undersized for the normal building occupancy with some surge capacity?

    Was a construction permit required to construct a septic tank either with the building or separately? Was the system inspected during construction and was a certificate of occupancy issued? A rule of thumb for sizing a septic system is that an adult person uses 95 gallons of water per day and that the waste has to stay in the tank so that it can be acted upon by anaerobic bacteria for at least 3 days. Ok. There is an identified problem so what is the solution to protect the public?

    • Lodger says:

      The solution lies with government. For years they have messed about with installing a comprehensive sewage disposal system, and how far have we got? Every property should be forcibly connected to a sewer line and property owners charged an annual or regular rate for the service. Owners will scream and shout, and government will back down, but it is the only answer. Certainly it will be a logistical nightmare to install, especially to those crowded houses up the hills in East End, but once done the problem will be solved.

      • Where is the solution? says:

        The solution does indeed lie with government, but not only government. We, as individuals and homeowners, are also part of it. We need to insist that this is a priority (just like dealing with the garbage). Yes, it will cost money, but the choice is a free ride (i.e. we know there’s a problem but refuse to do anything about it) as we crap in our crib, or get on with upgrading septic systems over the medium term. Except in populated areas (which will bring it’s own challenges), a sewer system territory wide is not realistic IMHO. However, there does need to be a waste water treatment plant for each island so that septic contents can be treated (Instead of just dumped on land somewhere),

  6. Uncle says:

    Ah yo see the gecko any where? Chatting sh*t!

  7. Proud Virgin Islander says:

    It really has VI laws? Somehow I got the feeling yours were transferred!

  8. Windy says:

    “poor practices by residents” While to government pumps raw untreated sewage in to our waters.

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