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Wastewater blamed for 'potholes & gullies' on road @ Fort Hill

- Environmental Health Department tells residents to fix wastewater issues
The damaged road at Fort Hill, Tortola, reportedly due to wastewater emanating from septic tanks, showers, and the likes from nearby apartments. Photo: VINO
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5), left, has said environmental issues are the reasons for the delay in repairs to the Fort Hill/ Bellevue Road. Opposition Member and Sixth District Representative, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6), right, said the road in question has become accident prone. Photo: Facebook/GIS
Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5), left, has said environmental issues are the reasons for the delay in repairs to the Fort Hill/ Bellevue Road. Opposition Member and Sixth District Representative, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6), right, said the road in question has become accident prone. Photo: Facebook/GIS
Chief Environmental Health Officer Mr Lionel E. Michael said wastewater coming from certain homes has been ‘undermining certain sections of the road, creating potholes and deep gullies.’ Photo: GIS/File
Chief Environmental Health Officer Mr Lionel E. Michael said wastewater coming from certain homes has been ‘undermining certain sections of the road, creating potholes and deep gullies.’ Photo: GIS/File
FORT HILL, Tortola, VI- While noting that safety of road users is a priority for his government, Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Honourable Kye M. Rymer (R5) said environmental issues are the reasons for the delay in repairs to the Fort Hill/ Bellevue Road.

Hon Rymer, speaking during the Seventh Sitting of the First Session of the Fourth House of Assembly (HoA) on October 17, 2019, said fixing the long-standing issue was included in the government’s infrastructure plans for 2019.

“In our efforts to remedy this section of the road, we became aware of some environmental issues that are now being addressed by the Environmental Health Department. Road rehabilitation works will commence within weeks of the environmental issues, as they are being corrected,” he remarked.

Hon Rymer said improving the road condition is vital to his government.“It is a priority, and we are definitely working on it and anything dealing with roads and transportation and safety of our pedestrians or motorists, we take serious, so we are definitely looking into it and will work to remedy it as soon as possible,” he said.

Accident prone road

Minister Rymer was responding to questions by Opposition Member and Sixth District Representative, Honourable Alvera Maduro-Caines (R6).

In response, Hon Maduro-Caines said: “Thank you, Mr Minister, because I am sure you have heard of the various accidents now that persons are using the one side of the road to go up and down. So I hope to see work start on that as soon as possible.”

Wastewater is the issue

When contacted, Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel E. Michael said the problem is from wastewater coming from certain homes which were “undermining certain sections of the road, creating potholes and deep gullies.”

He said the wastewater included septic tanks, showers, and the likes and his department met with various residents in the area and instructed them to fix the problem.

“Some of the pipes that were discharging water into the road have been fixed already, but they (homeowners) are still working on the septic tanks and other sources of wastewater.”

He said he hopes that the issue is addressed “by the end of the month,” to enable the much-needed repairs to the road.

21 Responses to “Wastewater blamed for 'potholes & gullies' on road @ Fort Hill”

  • Tru Dat! (07/11/2019, 09:34) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    If they fix this road to the same high standards that they just did at the top of Great Mountain then it will be well worth waiting for. The work on Ridge Road appears to be of extremely high quality and should last for many years.
  • Hmmmm (07/11/2019, 10:02) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
    Firstly proper drainage need to be put in place, Or else it will be no difference.
  • @ Tru Dat (07/11/2019, 10:28) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    Did u even bother to read and comprehend before posting your comment, don't matter how good a quality the road is if the waste water issue isn't fix the road won't last since the constant gush of water will eventually create the existing problem.....
    • Tru Dat! (07/11/2019, 16:09) Like (3) Dislike (1) Reply
      Yes suh, I did read and comprehended. Quote " Road rehabilitation works will commence within weeks of the environmental issues, as they are being corrected,” It was, therefore, a given that they are going to correct the drainage issue first, my comment concerned the high quality of work from PWD today.
      SMFH and muttering "sum a dese people..."
  • NezRez (07/11/2019, 10:28) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am afraid of this location because coming from town heading east, I have to go all the way into the next lane to avoid this road damage, and cars going west are coming around very fast. I am honking my horn to alert them I am coming, Very scary.
  • Boopsie Hogface (07/11/2019, 10:51) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    I didnt know she (Alves)still alive and as a matter of fact when last she visited Belle Vue. Since we are talking about roads, I would like someone to clarify if the small road going down to Joyce Samuel which comes out across from the "Daycare" is a public or private road because it is blocked by persons who are using it as their private parking for derelict vehicles.
    • Hmmm (07/11/2019, 13:21) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Is a public road as for as I am aware but you know how some folks operate as if the earth belongs to them with their bullyish behaviour.
      • Boopsie Hogface (07/11/2019, 13:33) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Ok, I was just checking because for the life of Me, I couldn't understand if it's a public road why they are allowed to block it and use it to park a old bus and a old blue car that never moves from the spot. That road would be very useful especially for parents dropping off kids to the school...but hey this is the BVI where anything goes
  • Grateful (07/11/2019, 13:15) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    Thanks for fixing this horror of a road. It has been deteriorating since before or after the elections. Thank you for attending to the urgency!
  • I man I (07/11/2019, 13:50) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mark should have fix that section of road for her a long time ago but they had no respect for her except they went into Purcell on the hells of election and resurfaced a section of road there to fool voters leave the more dangerous road exposed to imminent danger now she there begging the Hon. Minister to get it fix for her.
  • Environmental Health Sleeping (07/11/2019, 16:04) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    It is not just there.There are many other areas where they CONTINUE to ALLOW HOME OWNERS to run their filthy sewerage water into the roads. E.g. Paraquita Bay; East End in front of the fire station and police station.

    These homeowners should be penalized for this.

    This matter should be of GREAT CONCERN.
  • E. Leonard (07/11/2019, 16:12) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Undoubtedly, designing, constructing and maintaining the roads properly have many benefits, ie, safety, increase life/longer lifecycle, reduce operations and maintenance cost, lower reconstruction cost, reduced vehicle owners operating cost, improved drivability, avoiding accidents.......etc. But there is a bigger problem. In addition to wastewater (Black and Gray water) damaging the road, exposure to it (wastewater)posed a healthy risk to residents. Most of the territory is not on a central sewage system; per Environmental Health, 75-80% of facilities are on a septic system that comprised of a tank, leaching field and pipes; a collection tank is not a septic system. The purpose of septic system is to clean, purify and dispose effluent into the soil where is almost drinkable. Well, potable.

    A properly designed, constructed and maintained septic system should have a lifecycle of several decades. A well functioning septic system depends on anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, proper soil (good absorption, percolation rate), tank and leaching field. An undersized and poorly operating tank and poor leaching field can result in sewage overflowing, causing an odor. A well functioning system can be almost invisible and odorless. Rightsizing the tank is important. The tank is a stilling pond that anaerobic bacteria multiply and thrive in. For effectiveness, the tank must be sized to hold waste for at least 3 days. During these 3 days anaerobic bacteria attack, ingest and break down the organic solids, converting solids to liquid. The tank size is a function of the number of persons in a facility/building. Typically, each person used approx 95 gallons of water per day and if there are 6 persons in a building, the daily total usage is 570 gallons(6x95) and for 3 days 1710 gallons. 1 cubic foot equates to 7.48 gallons and the minimum size tank will equate to approx 23 cf. The tank should be larger than the minimum size, ie, to accommodate guests.......etc. Constructing a septic system is much more complicated.

    Disclaimer: The info provided is only for info, not for design and construction decision. For design and construction criteria, consult Town and Country or Public Works Department for the minimum criteria.
    • Enquiring Minds (07/11/2019, 21:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      “A well functioning septic system depends on anaerobic and aerobic bacteria, proper soil (good absorption, percolation rate), tank and leaching field.” Thought that a septic system needs chemicals, disinfectants (ultraviolet light)....etc to treat the waste.
  • Road Engineer (07/11/2019, 18:00) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    BVI, here is a news flash. Sewage contains a myriad of pathogens (diseases) and exposure to raw sewage pose a health risk to residents. Driving through raw sewage spread the sewage around. Septic systems should be designed, constructed and maintained safely to protect human health. Who is reviewing the design, inspecting the construction and evaluating the operations of septic systems? It is not sufficient to show up when someone complain, talk nicely to offenders and take no action to correct the deficiency: The violators must be held accountable. A no nonsense approach is needed. Do not expect what you don't inspect and enforce. Protecting human health is job 1.
    • Agree (08/11/2019, 09:59) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Protecting human health may be job 1 in many parts of the world but not here. It should be and could be, if the govt was truly serious about this. Every septic system in the territory should be logged, and inspected on a periodic basis. Grants could be made available for home owners to fix serious deficiencies. Most US municipalities require pump outs every 5-7 years, which would mean we need to figure out what to do with those wastes (besides the current practice of dumping it where people won't see it, mostly). A goal could be set whereby all septics are upgraded to meet a specified standard in the next 25 years. We should also be regularly testing beaches for coliform, and should do something about charter boat discharges. It would also make sense to get serious about reducing soil erosion from construction sites into the sea. None of this will happen, because the BVI priority is money.
  • qc (07/11/2019, 18:39) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    blames it on the birds NDP done gone
    • Local yute (08/11/2019, 10:33) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      Blame it on NDP this is a problem way before NDP the real thing is there was never no plan for so much people to live on this rock and for it to be so developed so now we face with issues that cannot be fix for e.g look at main street absolutely no room to do anything as all the building is in the road
  • green (07/11/2019, 19:12) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    It's about time these homeowners take responsibility for their waste water.
  • School of Hard Knock Engineer(SHKE) (08/11/2019, 05:31) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
    For a drain field to work effectively, it depends on the volume of effluent and type of soil ( clay, silt, sand,gravel) to be treated. A peculation test will tell if the soil will work. However, everybody want to build on every square foot they own, leaving little area for a drain field. The problem is acute in the EE/LL, for home owners were anticipation the construction of a central sewage plant that didn’t happen (the appropriated $8M was borrowed for the Tortola Pier Park). Running raw sewage in the street is nasty and present a health risk to residents. Until a central system is constructed, single family, apartment and business must construct an appropriate size septic or a temporary collection system that must be pumped out frequently. The raw and untreated sewage cannot be dumped on land or in the sea along the shore line. The question is where the waste can be taken? Does the Road Town plant have the capacity? Something has to be done, for the current practice is unhealthy at best. Whoever let people build buildings without proper sewage system need a cutass. They exposing people to diseases.
  • Impatient/Frustrated D-8 Resident (08/11/2019, 09:10) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Hon Premier Fahie, when is the $8M authorized and appropriated for the EE/LL sewage project that was midused/borrowed be returned and project started? The two area reps behaved like 2 blind m...e, going along to get along. The EE/LL people’s health played second fiddle to a legacy project. Should not money appropriated by the HOA for a special project be spent for it intended purpose? Notice that when crown rep believed that the RVIPF didn't get enough money, the crown rep used reserved powers to override the local government to provide additional funding, embarrassing the Hon Premier at the time. Security is important and so too is health. D7/D8 voters want their $8M returned. D-7 rep need to push this issue; D-8 rep? Still government inaction does not give property owners license to run sewage into the street, posing a risk to people’s health.


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