Wed | Nov 25, 2020

Waterford raises stink as sewage swamps homes

Published:Wednesday | October 7, 2020 | 12:18 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
Sewage spills on to a street in Waterford, St Catherine, on Tuesday. Residents of the Portmore community have complained about recurrent overflows during heavy showers.
Sewage spills on to a street in Waterford, St Catherine, on Tuesday. Residents of the Portmore community have complained about recurrent overflows during heavy showers.

Tuesday’s torrential rains resurrected a perennial problem in Waterford, Portmore, causing raw sewage to overflow from manholes in the homes of residents and on roadways.

The residents are fearful that the community is at risk of serious health challenges.

Some of the roadways affected are Portland East, Adir Drive, Trelawny East, Cabarette Way, and Falmouth East.

Sharon Wheeler, who has been living in the community since 1979, told The Gleaner that the problem resurfaces during heavy bouts of rainfall. She is demanding a permanent fix to the problem.

“The raw sewage even comes up in our homes through our toilets,” Wheeler revealed.

“Usually we complained to the councillor and he would have the National Water Commission (NWC) come out and carry out a repair job, but we have discovered it’s not lasting.”

Wheeler lamented having to walk through raw sewage to leave her house at Falmouth Way, a woe experienced by several other residents. She said she was particularly worried about the health risk to children.

Kayan Neuville, who operates a small business in the St Catherine community, said she finds the stench nauseating and is worried about her family’s health.

“I have three small children and it is very problematic for them. Also, the raw sewage overflows in my bathroom when we have heavy rains. Something has to be done urgently or else there will be a health crisis in the area,” she said.

Meanwhile, Councillor Fenley Douglas said that he has reported the matter to the NWC and was assured that the problem would have been resolved.

“I have called for a total sanitisation of all the affected roadways whenever the problem is solved,” Douglas told The Gleaner.

“This is very important to me as well as the residents and their children who have to traverse the streets on a daily basis.”

Supervisor of operations at the NWC, Carlington Elliston, said on Tuesday that the utility was aware of the sewage woes and had cleared a blockage at Portland East.

Elliston said that he requested a list of the other affected areas from Douglas but had not received a response up to late Tuesday.