Of Low Water Pressure, Sucking Taps and Herbicide In Barbados


Barbados Free Press reader “P” Asks A Question And Tells A Story…

Have you ever been at home and turned the tap on to hear a sucking sound and no water coming? And have you ever come home to find that the water was off during the day and all of the hot water in the solar heater has drained back out through the water meter and you have to have a cold shower? Does anyone live uphill of you?

Now just suppose that your neighbour had a lot of bush around him that he was planning to get rid of and on the day when the water went off, he had just started mixing up a 50 gallon drum of Gramoxone* and had left the hose running in the drum to fill. You can bet that when he comes back to the drum, he’s going to be wondering what happened. He left that drum a quarter full half a hour ago and when its supposed to be full, it’s now empty!

Now where did all that Gramoxone go?

* Gramoxone is a non-specific herbicide. The manufacturer claims that it breaks down rapidly in soil and does not impact the water table. So they say.

There is no information on the website about the effects of showering, drinking or cooking with Gramoxone. (link here)

Backflow In Residential Water Systems A Concern

Low water pressure is just one of the causes of “backflow” – a condition where water pipes “suck in” contaminated water and other fluids into the water supply system.

There are many of us on the island who have experienced backflow or “sucking taps” during a water shortage and never thought too much about it. In some areas, it is almost a weekly happening.

The problem is that backflow can be dangerous. Our water distribution system is, to be kind, “in need of some investment”. Some Barbados watermains are over one hundred years old.

How many of our Barbados readers have experienced this problem?

Follow are some links about water system backflow…

Top Ten Backflow News Stories Of 2005

Wikipedia – Backflow Prevention

Watts Backflow Prevention (Technology Company)

Backflow Waterline Attack Feared (New Republic)

No Backflow – Informative Website

Drinking Water and Backflow Prevention Magazine


Filed under Barbados, Environment

12 responses to “Of Low Water Pressure, Sucking Taps and Herbicide In Barbados

  1. Anonymous-

    You are making links between things that are not known to happen (a hypothetical neighbour with a 50 gallon drum of gramoxone…?) and you clearly have not called the BWA with the story or sought to clarify what measures are in place to stop this from happening, or whether it’s a common occurrence. Dale Miller at the BWA is a very, very friendly Marketing & Communications Officer and he would welcome your queries.. but once again you are writing garbage and making tenuous speculation appear to be legitimate news without checking the facts.

    Since you are lacking scandal to report on, you may touch on Allyson Leacock stealing $300,000 from the CBC.

  2. ross

    Anonymous, you are finally getting the picture. Congrats! but where is the Allyson Leacock evidence? You are now yourself doing exactly what you say BFP and its bloggers should not do.

    The situation in relation to water in Barbados is a very serious one and needs to be taken seriously. Do not dismiss this one.

    This Gramoxone story is mild compared to what really happens. Look around when you are driving and see what happens to partly used raw chemical in containers. Oh I forgot you live somewhere else. Well look back at the old article BFP carried and showed the drums of chemicals dumped by the wayside.

  3. Yo!

    Why do you think I now catch rainwater, off my roof, to store for drinking??
    Few yrs. ago there was a NATION article stating that Barbados now enjoy’s (Monsanto Corp.’s) ATRAZINE in our water supply.
    I really neeeed Atrazine in my body!
    Good for cancer, I’m told.
    And so I now catch rainwater.
    You lot can continue sucking the pipes.
    And the Atrazine.
    Good Luck with your cancer problem in a decade’s time!

  4. West Side Davie

    BFP says this is a letter from a reader. It reads like a letter from a reader.

    I have had the sucking taps couple of times and after reading some of the material on the links I reaalize that it is a danger. Our water system do have low pressure.

    Heat Magazine some time ago talked about goats and garbage around one of the reservoirs. Everybody knows we have water problems so what is anonymous problem?

    The links talk about putting a backflow prevention value on your waterpipes for safety.

    Does anonymous say that Barbados has no sucking taps? Is that your point anonymous. That this could never happen in Barbados?


  5. Yo!

    Cannot happen…must not happen in a BLP Barbados.
    Wouldn’t look good for God’s Own Party In Power! This is the perfect island.
    Don’t you consume and believe the propaganda? – you should!
    That can’t happen here
    – this is BARBADOS!!

  6. Wayne

    The problem in Barbados, as explained to me, is water management not a shortage of water. Lookat all of the water wihich runs into the ocean each day, bath etc why isn’t this collected and put back into the system. Does any Plantation clean wells at the end of the crop anymore? Goverment’s practice of not maintaining everthing that it owns is responsible for the sorry state of a number of its assests, systems etc. Look at the NIS building in Fairchild St, the sluice gate at Worthing beach, and the list goes on.
    50% of the pipes leak , I personally had the experience of reporting a leak (numerous occasions) in my neighbour, after 4 weeks and the leak still not fixed. A letter to the Nation was penned, letter printed in the Sunday Sun, by 9 am a BWA crew turned up fixed the leak in 20 minutes, what a waste ,not NISE. The beat comes on we know we like it so!

  7. Pingback: Tap Water Contamination in Vancouver Canada - 2 Million People At Risk « Barbados Free Press

  8. bp


    Its simple physics, but I forgot that you went to school at the pipe (pun intended). I guess you never learnt anything at the pipe either! Ha Ha! It has happened to me before, in fact I wrote the post. Never heard of, or seen a water meter spinning backwards? I the US it is THE LAW to have not one but two tamper-proof check valves right after your meter. Do you know what a terrorist or whacko could do to the population by, not just waiting for the water to go off, but actually pumping some tasteless, odourless & lethal chemical or disease into our water system from the comfort of his own home? And if you still believe that I am talking a lot of cr@p ask Dale Miller, but ask him privately because he will be commiting suicide if he admitted it publicly.

  9. bp


    Nothing sweeter than a little bird doo doo in your cup of H5N1 coffee

  10. baby girl

    hello yo! im a 14 year old student and i just wanted to say that catching rain water is worae than the tap water… smart move buddy!

  11. hockey girl

    haha this site is funny! you guys are debating about nothing! lol!

  12. hockey girl

    bp you are cool