BVI News

Raw sewerage continues to flow through Road Reef!

At least one business owner has expressed his discontent with a prolonged sewerage issue in the Road Reef area of Tortola.

In a series of emails between himself and officials and heads of department from the Ministry of Works & Utilities, Managing Director of TMM Yacht Charters, Barney Crook said the untreated sewerage was becoming a public safety hazard for residents in the area.

Crook indicated that the sewerage problems have been a reoccurring issue but the latest problem restarted approximately one week ago.

In the emails which were shared with BVI News, Crook expressed his frustration on the matter.

“This morning the raw sewerage continues to flow from the manhole at the entrance to Road Reef as it has been for the past several days, and now someone has dug a trench across the road to encourage the flow directly into the marina. This is totally unacceptable and a real health hazard,” he said.

“Something needs to be done to fix this problem once and for all. This problem [or] issue has been going on for years. All this government talk of BVILOVE and looking after the environment and this is acceptable?” Crook questioned.

Ministry working to resolve issue

Responding to the concerns via the same thread of emails, Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Works & Utilities Ronald Smith-Berkeley assured the businessman that his ministry has been working to resolve the ongoing issue.

He said: “I will simply say that the ministry is working closely with the director and her team at WSD (Water and Sewage Department) to permanently resolve these issues.”

“We are putting in place (today) measures that will/should carry us through the rest of the year,” he added.

Permanent fix 2021

Smith-Berkeley further said that his ministry will be working on a permanent solution that is slated for mid-2021.

“As it relates to the matter of the sewerage at Road Reef, there is a permanent fix in the making but will not come to fruition until Q2 (second quarter) of 2021 approximately,” the Permanent Secretary said.

“The long-term permanent fix will result in the removal of the pump from the middle of the road off to the shoulder. This will facilitate a bigger station with the adequate size pumps etcetera,” he explained.


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  1. Lost Lemon says:

    You’re reporting in this? What about the raw sewage that’s been flowing from Slaney into Sea Cow’s Bay for the last 3 years?! You can see the plumes of $hit from the road – WTF!!! When is the media going to hold our Government accountable?

    On top of that I’d like to add that 99% of the time none of the main media sites EVER follow back up on reported stories. Crime, Government, whatever ….. one and done when you could achieve so much more from the stage you stand on! Shame on you!

    Like 28
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    • Poor standards says:

      There’s no such thing as “raw sewerage” per the headline.
      Sewerage is the pipework through which sewage flows.
      How could you not know that?

  2. Anonymous says:

    After millions and millions and millions of dollars being allocated for management and treatment of over decades, many administrations and or govrnments.

    Where did the money go? Could have fixed this problem and many more ten times over.

    What a shameful look at the filthy face of corruption.

    Like 31
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  3. Pee yuhhh says:

    Wanna see some real raw sewage being spilled??? Check the HOA

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  4. Correction (for information not publication) says:

    Sewerage would be the pipes; what flows through them is sewage.

  5. S**T says:

    Take that when Fraser was trying to help you all throw his ideas to the curve so that S**T NOW is a problem but get it out of SEA COWS BAY TIS TIME

  6. Yassuh says:

    Another of them dirty little secrets.

    Like 13
  7. Doh says:

    Welcome to Nature’s Paradise.

    This has been happening for years. East, west, CGB, in town, take your pick. A worn out infrastructure and governments that have chosen to ignore it.

    Like 12
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  8. Foreigner says:

    You mean nature’s little secret, sh$t ah run like a River? Guess what ah yo was never clean to begin with, calling down others, spit in the air and it will fall right back in your stinking face.

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  9. Road Runner says:

    God knows how many millions spent on a new raw sewage treatment plant, coincidentally also on Road Reef, which worked great for about as long as the outside contractors looked after it. Now sitting broken and useless – WHY IS THIS???

    Like 13
    • @Road Runner says:

      You can’t just bring in people who know what they are doing when we have a Belonger who can not do or be bothered to do the job for the same money.

  10. E. Leonard says:

    Proper, safe and effective collecting , transporting, treating and discharging of sewage is a quality of life and standard of living expectation in a developing country. The VI is a developing country with a $400, 000, 000 operation and maintenance budget and an approx $1,000, 000, 000 gross domestic product (GDP). Thus, it should have a more comprehensive, extensive, modern and state-of-the-art sewage system on Tortola, as well as on the major outlying islands.

    The VI is heavily dependent on trade and tourism and in the 21st Century it is embarrassing, unsightly and unhealthy to have raw sewage flowing exposed. Nonetheless, a modern sewage system should be designed, constructed and maintained to serve both both the local and visitor customers. Moreover, Tortola should have one or more central wastewater sewage systems. Currently, there is a central system in Road Town, Cane Garden Bay areas………etc. Still many properties are using septic systems.

    Further, whatever happened to Bi-Water BOT (Build Operate Turnover) water and sewage contract? The Bi-Water contract negotiated by the VIP government was controversial among a certain sector of the population. However, not much is heard about it these days. Nevertheless, it was reported that the Bi-Water contract was bought out by Seven Seas. And if so does Seven Seas have the same contractual obligations and terms and conditions as Bi-Water? The 16 year (?) turnover date should be fast approaching. Is the VI ready for the turn over? It should ensure that the plant (s) are in a serviceable condition and ready for turnover. Will government be operating the sewage plant(s) or turn it over to a third party to operate?

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    • Political Observer (PO) says:

      Indeed, BI-Water had a controversial birth and was a core issue in two general elections by the former NDP government. BI-Water was not perfect but what programme is. More constructive effort should have been employed to improve it. Now, the silence is dangerously deafening. What is driving the silence?

      BI-Water contract was bought out by Seven Seas. Who are the shareholders in Seven Seas? Allegedly a local resident billionaire is a major shareholder. Who are the others? Further, was the original BI-Water contract modified to allow less deliverables by Seven Seas? Is the contract costing more but delivering less services than originally contract.

      Moreover, the piecemeal approach taken to deliver wastewater services is adversely impacting the level and quality of service. The territory needs a wastewater master plan that guides design, construction, operation and maintenance. Constructed system should have the capacity and capability for future growth. Further, wastewater should be treated at a high level before being discharge into the sea to protect the health of users, quality of water, food source, use and enjoyment.

      • E. Leonard says:

        @PO, good read. Especially like your point on wastewater master planning. The whole physical infrastructure, eg, water, wastewater, electricity, telecommunications and drainage, as well as other facets of the governing structure, needs master planning. The VI needs a national development plan process(NDP). The people, the key and most important shareholder, should be briefed on and have input on the NDP and be approved by the HOA. NDP approved, it should be the blueprint for operating infrastructure.

        Every government coming to power and changing things to suit its fancy is counterproductive to growth and development. Constantly stopping and restarting increases cost, increases production time and slows vital service delivery.

        The British Army 7 P’s adage is a good starting point on planning: Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

  11. Doc says:

    The problem with that Department is Management everybody and their uncle knows this.until the government make the decision to put competent people in the position to champion change we will continue to suffer.

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  12. Stop complaining says:

    Tell Barney Crook go back where he came nothing happens over night for you caucausians in the BVI the Government inherited a problem they are working on it, what is the sense your businesses in the areas complain daily and do not contribute to help the area.

    Like 1
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