Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019
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Sewage spills again

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama-For years now management at Freeport Resort&Club and Island Resort&Golf Club have complained to authorities about a sewer that constantly overflows near the properties at Rum Cay Drive.

The persistent problem had Rochelle Williams, office assistant at Freeport Resort&Club, callingThe Freeport News,asguests at the resort were complaining that raw sewage was blocking the path to the beach.

“We have a family here that comes every year and they walk to Xanadu Beach. They came in this morning and said we had to wade through the sewer to get to the beach,”Williams said.

When she made the call toThe Freeport Newsnewsroom, Williams said raw sewage was gushing six inches above the ground.

It has been a persistent problem, she said, that has been plaguing the area for years now.

Calls to the Department of Environmental Health and the Grand Bahama Port Authority have not led to the situation being addressed, Williams said.

She added that the problem was so bad recently that guests had to be relocated due to the odor.

“Two weeks ago we had to move two of our guests out of the unit that they were supposed to be in, because the scent was so strong and we can’t afford for this to continue because we would be losing customers like that,”Williams said.

It has been a weekly problem, she said.

While the problem sewer is at the front of the Island Resort&Golf Club, the sewage comes on to the Freeport Resort&Club occasionally.

“Sometimes it actually backs up on our property and it comes up through our tubs,”Williams said.”It’s something that we’ve been dealing with, ongoing, and we are not getting a solution to the problem.”

Williams is now begging for action to be taken because, she said, the stench is bad for business and for people’s health.

“If you look out there, it’s right in the front of Island Resort&Golf Club’s gate. The tourists have to walk out or drive out and it is going on your car. It’s a disgrace. It’s a shame and disgrace,”she said.

While complaints have fallen on deaf ears before, Williams said she still wants intervention.

“I would like to make a plea to the relevant authorities to please do something about it,”she said.

WhenThe Freeport Newscontacted Donald Archer, C.E.O. of Bahamia Service Company Limited, the company responsibility for maintenance in the area, he denied Williams’claims that spills are a weekly problem, adding that there had not been a spill in months.

This recent spill, he explained, occurred because the company had been doing some maintenance on the system.

“We were carrying out routine maintenance and installing a new pump and because the system was down for a while it backed up a little,”said Archer.

Downplaying the spill as a minor incident, Archer further explained that a device was recently installed that would contact a cell phone if the system filled up. This would allow the company to respond before that occurs, he said.

“We actually had to shut the system down to replace a motor and because the system was down for a while the pipe filled up that was taking the sewer to the main. It wasn’t able to transfer because of the pump and it overflowed slightly,”he said.

When the Department of Environmental Health was contacted, chief health inspector Berthamae McPhee-Duncanson said the department was not aware of the situation.

According to McPhee-Duncanson, the department has not received any recent complaints about spills in the area. However, she said a team of inspectors would look into the issue.

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